Author: Olga A. Bogdanova
Information about the author:

DSc in Philology, Leading Research Fellow, Department of Russian Literature of the Late 19th – Early 20th Centuries, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya st. 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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For citation:

Bogdanova, O.A. “The Reception of Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent in the Studies of Russian Authors in 1900s–1940s: Religious and Philosophical Understanding, Biography, Psychoanalysis”. Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 3 (15), 2021, pp. 157-195. (In Russ.)

Received: 20 June 2021
Published: 25 Sep. 2021
Issue: 2021 no. 3 (15)
Pages: 157-195
UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83+83.3(2=411.2)+86.2
Keywords: Dostoevsky, The Adolescent, the first half of the 20th century, the Silver Age, Soviet science, Russian emigration, religious and philosophical interpretation, biography, psychoanalysis
Abstract: The history of the perception of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel The Adolescent in the first half of the 20th century is divided into two large, qualitatively different periods: the Silver Age and the 1920s–1940s. The peculiarity of the first one is the discovery of Dostoevsky as a philosopher and religious thinker, while the second the awareness of him as an original artist. Therefore, in the first period, “ideological” and “spiritual” interpretations of The Adolescent prevailed, in the second – scientific studies of his poetics and especially of the manuscript corpus. The main areas of study of The Adolescent in the 1920s and 1940s were biography, psychoanalysis, and poetics, together with a continuous religious and philosophical understanding of the novel. The reviewed material is considered in chronological order. There is no clear distinction between Soviet and emigrant researchers, although there is a difference in the conditions in which they worked. Among the authors who wrote about The Adolescent in the 1900s and 1910s, symbolist and religious-philosophical interpretations predominate (D.S. Merezhkovsky, A.A. Blok, V.V. Rozanov, A.S. Glinka-Volzhsky, N.A. Berdyaev), judgments from the positions of naturalism, positivism, and Marxism are less common (A.I. Vvedensky, V.V. Veresaev, V.F. Pereverzev). If in the USSR of the 1920s–1940s references to The Adolescent in a religious and philosophical way are rare (N.O. Lossky), then in emigration they are quite numerous (metropolitan Antony Khrapovitsky, N.A. Berdyaev, A.Z. Steinberg, E.Yu. Kuzmina-Karavaeva, N.O. Lossky). In Dostoevsky’s biographies of the 1920s–1940s, the myth of the writer’s gloomy childhood prevails, as if depicted in the plot of Arkady Dolgoruky, the hero of The Adolescent (L.P. Grossman, I.D. Ermakov, K.V. Mochulsky), but in the same years, there is confidence in the evidence of Dostoevsky’s happy childhood (O. von Schultz, G.I. Chulkov). Psychoanalysis, authoritative in the 1920s, considered the family conflict of The Adolescent in the light of the Oedipus complex and the teachings of Z. Freud on the structure of the human personality (A.A. Kashina-Evreinova, B.A. Griftsov, I.D. Ermakov, P.S. Popov).


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