Author: Nikolay N. Podosokorsky
Information about the author:

PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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For citation:

Podosokorsky, N.N. “‘Napoleonic’ Petersburg and its Reflection in Dostoevsky’s Novel Crime and Punishment.Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 4 (20), 2022, pp. 71–135. (In Russ.)

Received: 10 Oct. 2022
Published: 25 Dec. 2022
Issue: 2022 no. 4 (20)
Pages: 71-135

UDK: 821.161.1.0+94
BBK: 83.3(2=411.2)+63.3(0)
Keywords: Napoleon, napoleonic myth, St. Petersburg, napoleonic legend, Crime and Punishment, The Double, “Mr. Prokharchin,” Notes from Underground, Egyptian Bridge, Kazan Cathedral, Alexander Column, Vendome column, Paris.
Abstract: The article is devoted to a specific socio-cultural phenomenon, called by the author “Napoleonic” Petersburg, and its reflection in Dostoevsky’s novel Crime and Punishment (1866). In the late 1830s — 1860s the Napoleonic myth manifested itself in several aspects of the cultural life of the capital of the Russian Empire: the names of public institutions, restaurant menus, apartment decorations, museum rarities, monuments, street shows, theatrical productions, literary works, psychological imitation of Napoleon, etc. The article presents an attempt to reconstruct how the “Napoleonic” Petersburg was formed and looked like during the time when Fyodor Dostoevsky, who dedicated several works to the life of people in Petersburg, fascinated by Napoleon (“Mr. Prokharchin,” White Nights, Notes from the Underground, etc.), lived and worked in it, before the creation of Crime and Punishment. The author’s research focuses on the novel Crime and Punishment and Rodion Raskolnikov, trying to become a new Napoleon and talking about the transformation of St. Petersburg and the greatness of historical figures as “living monuments” on which there is “not a body, but bronze.” It is shown how the realities of St. Petersburg (the Egyptian Bridge, the Alexander Column, the Kazan Cathedral, etc.) relate to the Napoleonic myth and are indirectly reflected in the text of Dostoevsky’s novel.


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