Author: Olga A. Bogdanova
Information about the author:

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

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For citation:

Bogdanova, O.A. “Russian Estate in Dostoevsky’s Novel Crime and Punishment.” Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 4 (20), 2022, pp. 136–162. (In Russ.)

Received: 16 Aug. 2022
Published: 25 Dec. 2022
Issue: 2022 no. 4 (20)
Pages: 136-162

UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83.3(2=411.2)+86.2
Keywords: Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, Russian estate, “estate text”, “estate habitus”, Arcadia, ontological dimension, pagan topos, reception in the Silver Age.
Abstract: The article analyzes for the first time in the history of research on Dostoevsky the image of the Russian rural estate in the novel Crime and Punishment, in the context of the whole problematic of the book, with an emphasis on plot-compositional and semantic-semiotic aspects. The author previously clarifies the outstanding role of the rural estate as an ideal of life-settlement in the writer’s biography from childhood (Darovoye) to the end of life (the lawsuit about the Ryazan estate in the “case of the Kumanin inheritance”). The appearance of the estate of the Svidrigailovs, the structure of their life, the characters and lifestyle of both spouses are reconstructed according to the details scattered in the text of the novel. The semantics of their names is considered: Arkady and Marfa. It is shown that the name Arkady, used by Dostoevsky in three different works (“A Weak Heart”, Crime and Punishment, The Adolescent) actualizes the idyllic topos of Arcadia from ancient mythology, with which Russian landowner’s estate was traditionally associated. However, the destruction of the “culture of the estates” during the years of liberal reforms (the 1860s) strengthens the socio-critical pathos in the representation of the “estate topos” in Russian literature, which is noticeable in Crime and Punishment. The peculiarity of Dostoevsky’s “estate text” in contrast with I.S. Turgenev, I.A. Goncharov, N.A. Nekrasov, L.N. Tolstoy, etc. is that it is given an ontological dimension. On one hand, the Svidrigailov estate is a pagan topos, a place to satisfy the hedonistic needs of its owners, on the other, it is the locus of Marfa Petrovna’s spiritual growth in repentance, prayer, and posthumous convergence with the New Testament Martha, the sister of Lazarus, resurrected by Christ. In turn, Arkady Ivanovich, being by nature a good person, without the help of Christ he rejected, perishes because of the lustful passion that seized him. The concept of the estate as a pagan topos, embodied by Dostoevsky in Crime and Punishment, was understood and continued in the Silver Age by N.A. Berdyaev, G.I. Chulkov, A.N. Tolstoy, N.S. Gumilev, etc.


1. Al’tman, M.S. Dostoevskii. Po vekham imen [Dostoevsky. By Milestones of Names]. Saratov, Saratov University Publ., 1975. 280 p. (In Russ.)

2. Bal’zak, Onore de. “Evgeniia Grande” [“Eugenia Grande”]. Repertuar i Panteon. Teatral’noe obozrenie [Repertoire and Pantheon. Theater Review]. St. Petersburg, 1844, no. 6, dep. I, pp. 386–457; no. 7, dep. I, pp. 44–125. (In Russ.)

3. Belov, S.V. “Imena i familii u Dostoevskogo” [“Names and Surnames in Dostoevsky”]. Teleskop, no. 6, 2014, pp. 42–43. (In Russ.)

4. Bem, A.L., Zavadskii, S.V., Pletnev, R.V., Chizhevskii, D.I. “Slovar’ lichnykh imen u Dostoevskogo” [“Dostoevsky’s Dictionary of Personal Names”]. Magidova, M., editor. Vokrug Dostoevskogo: v 2 tomakh [Around Dostoevsky: in 2 vols], vol. 1: O Dostoevskom: Sbornik statei pod red. A.L. Bema [About Dostoevsky: Collected Articles Edited by A.L. Bem]. Moscow, Russkii put’ Publ., 2007, pp. 288–361. (In Russ.)

5. Benua, A.N. Moi vospominaniia [My Memories], vol. 1, book I–III. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1980. 711 p. (In Russ.)

6. Berdiaev, N.A. Aleksei Stepanovich Khomiakov [Alexey Stepanovich Khomyakov]. Moscow, Vysshaia shkola Publ., 2005. 237 p. (In Russ.)

7. Bessonova, A.S. “Neizvestnoe Darovoe (po arkhivnym materialam)” [“Unknown Darovoye (According to Archival Materials)”]. Viktorovich, V.A., editor. V Letnie chteniia v Darovom [5th Summer readings in Darovoye]. Kolomna, ID “Liga” Publ., 2019, pp. 193–200. (In Russ.)

8. Bessonova, A.S. “Legendy i fakty o zhizni M.A. Dostoevskogo v Darovom (1837–1839)” [“Legends and Facts about the Life of M.A. Dostoevsky in Darovoye (1837–1839)”]. Neizvestnyi Dostoevskii, vol. 8, no. 1, 2021, pp. 61–76. (In Russ.)

9. Biriukova, T.G. Darovoe — usad’ba Dostoevskikh. Vozvrashchenie. Istoricheskaia rekonstruktsiia [Darovoe, Dostoevskys’ Estate. Return. Historical Reconstruction]. Moscow, Pashkov dom Publ., 2013. 135 p. (In Russ.)

10. Bogdanova, O.A. “Mesto F.M. Dostoevskogo v ‘usadebnom tekste’ russkoi literatury XIX – nachala XX veka. Sotsiokul’turnyi aspekt” [“Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Place in the ‘Estate Text’ of Russian Literature of the 19th – Early 20th Centuries. Socio-Cultural Aspect”]. Faustov, A.A., editor. Universalii russkoi literatury. 2. Sbornik statei [Universals of Russian Culture. 2. Collected Articles]. Voronezh, NAUKA-IuNIPRESS Publ., 2010, pp. 296–305. (In Russ.)

11. Bogdanova, O.A. Usad’ba i dacha v russkoi literature XIX–XXI vv.: topika, dinamika, mifologiia [Estate and Dacha in Russian Literature of the 19th–21st Centuries: Topics, Dynamics, Mythology]. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2019. 288 p. (In Russ.)

12. Bogdanova, O.A. “‘Nezolotaia starina’: opyt negativnoi retseptsii ‘usadebnoi kul’tury’ na rubezhe XIX–XX vv.” [“‘Not a Golden Antique’: Experience of Negative Reception of the ‘Estate Culture’ at the Turn of the 19th–20th Centuries”]. Studia Litterarum, vol. 5, no. 3, 2020, pp. 252–269. (In Russ.)

13. Bogdanova, O.A. “‘Usadebnye’ geroi F.M. Dostoevskogo” [“Dostoevsky’s ‘Estate’ Heroes”]. Dimitrov, E., editor. Antropologiia Dostoevskogo. Chelovek kak problema i ob”ekt izobrazheniia v mire Dostoevskogo [Dostoevsky’s Anthropology. Man as a Problem and an Object of Representation in Dostoevsky’s World]. Proceedings from Sofiia International Simposyum, 23–26 Oct. 2018. Sofiia, Bolgarskoe Obshchestvo Dostoevskogo Publ., 2021, pp. 199–207. (In Russ.)

14. Bogdanova, O.A. “‘Usadebnyi tekst’ Georgiia Chulkova: neomifologiia pisatel’skikh imen v povesti ‘Dom na peske’” [“An ‘Estate Text’ by Georgy Chulkov: The Neomythology of Writers’ Names in the Story ‘House on the Sand’”]. Bogdanova, O.A., editor. Usad’ba real’naia — usad’ba literaturnaia: vektory tvorcheskogo preobrazheniia: Kollektivnaia monografiia [Estate in Reality – Estate in Literature: Vectors of Creative Transformation: Collective Monograph]. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2021, pp. 73–92. (In Russ.)

15. Bogdanova, O.A. “Problema krasoty i zhenskie kharaktery v romane F.M. Dostoevskogo ‘Podrostok’” [“The Problem of Beauty and Female Characters in Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent”]. Kasatkina, T.A., editor. Roman F.M. Dostoevskogo “Podrostok”. Sovremennoe sostoianie izucheniia [Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent: Current State of Research]. Moscow, IWL RAS,
2022, pp. 338–364. (In Russ.)

16. Borisova, V.V., Shaulov, S.S., Iukhnovich, Iu.V. “Delo o kumaninskom nasledstve” v zhizni i tvorchestve F.M. Dostoevskogo [“The Case of the Kumanin Inheritance” in the Life and Work of Fyodor Dostoevsky]. Ufa, PechatniK Publ., 2021. 268 p. (In Russ.)

17. Brumfield, William. “‘Et in Arcadia ego’: usad’ba kak nravstvennoe prostranstvo v russkoi literature XIX–XX vv.” [“Even in Arcadia, There Am I”: Estate as Moral Space in Russian Literature of the 19th–20th Centuries”]. Bogdanova, O.A., editor. Russkaia usad’ba i Evropa: diakhroniia, nostal’giia, universalizm: Kollektivnaia monografiia [Russian Estate and Europe: Diachrony, Nostalgia, Universalism: Collective Monograph]. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2020, pp. 56–71. (In Russ.)

18. Burd’e, P’er. Sotsial’noe prostranstvo: polia i praktiki [Social Space: Fields and Practices]. Trans. from French by N.A. Shmatko. St. Petersburg, Aleteiia Publ., 2014. 576 p. (In Russ.)

19. Vasil’ev, B.A. Dukhovnyi put’ Pushkina [Pushkin’s Spiritual Path]. Moscow, Sam&Sam Publ., 1995. 360 p. (In Russ.)

20. Viktorovich, V.A. “Taina ‘nezamechatel’nogo mesta’” [“The Secret of the ‘Unnoticed Place’”]. Viktorovich, V.A., editor. III Letnie chteniia v Darovom [3rd Summer Readings in Darovoye]. Kolomna, ID “Liga” Publ., 2013, pp. 7–14. (In Russ.)

21. Viktorovich, V.A. “Dostoevskii. Vopros o narode” [“Dostoevsky. The Question of the People”]. Viktorovich, V.A., editor. V Letnie chteniia v Darovom [5th Summer Readings in Darovoye]. Kolomna, ID “Liga” Publ., 2019, pp. 7–18. (In Russ.)

22. Viktorovich, V.A. “Dostoevskii. Formula sem’i” [“Dostoevsky. Family Formula”]. Viktorovich, V.A., editor. VI Letnie chteniia v Darovom [6th Summer Readings in Darovoye]. Kolomna, 2021, pp. 21–39. (In Russ.)

23. Volgin, I.L. Rodit’sia v Rossii: Dostoevskii i sovremenniki: Zhizn’ v dokumentakh [To Be Born in Russia: Dostoevsky and His Contemporaries: A Life in Documents]. Moscow, Kniga Publ., 1991. 605 p. (In Russ.)

24. Grossman, L.P. “Novoe o Dostoevskom” [“News on Dostoevsky”]. Krasnaia niva, no. 9, 1925, pp. 193–216. (In Russ.)

25. Bessonova, A.S., editor. Darovoe Dostoevskogo: materialy i issledovaniia: Kollektivnaia monografiia [Dostoevsky’s Darovoye: Materials and Research: Collective Monograph]. Kolomna, Liga Publ., 2021. 543 p. (In Russ.)

26. Dement’eva, T.N. “Darovoe v zhizni i tvorchestve F.M. Dostoevskogo” [“Darovoye in the Life and Work of Dostoevsky”]. Nashchokina, M.V., editor. Russkaia usad’ba: Sbornik Obshchestva izucheniia russkoi usad’by [Russian Estate: Collection of the Society for the Study of the Russian Estate], issue 25 (41). St. Petersburg, Kolo Publ., 2019, pp. 82–89. (In Russ.)

27. Dement’eva, T.N., Voronkina, L.A. “Imenie Darovoe i ego vladel’tsy (po novym arkhivnym dokumentam)” [“Darovoye Estate and Its Owners (According to New Archival Documents)]. Neizvestnyi Dostoevskii, no. 4, 2020, pp. 106–131. (In Russ.)

28. Dmitrieva, E.E. “Russkaia usad’ba: semantika, topos i khronos” [“Russian Estate: Semantics, Topos, and Chronos]. Imagologiia i komparativistika, no. 11, 2019, pp. 140–173. (In Russ.)

29. Dmitrieva, E.E., and Kuptsova, O.N. Zhizn’ usadebnogo mifa: utrachennyi i obretennyi rai [The Life of the Estate Myth: Paradise Lost and Found]. 2nd Edition. Moscow, OGI Publ., 2008. 528 p. (In Russ.)

30. Dostoevskii, F.M. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: v 30 tomakh [Complete Works: in 30 vols]. Leningrad, Nauka Publ., 1972−1990. (In Russ.)

31. Dostoevskii, F.M. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: v 35 tomakh [Complete Works: in 35 vols]. St. Petersburg, Nauka Publ., 2013−(continuing publication). (In Russ.)

32. Druzhinin, A.V. Povesti. Dnevnik [Stories. Diary]. Moscow, Nauka Publ., 1986. 504 p. (In Russ.)

33. Kasatkina, T.A. O tvoriashchei prirode slova. Ontologichnost’ slova v tvorchestve F.M. Dostoevskogo kak osnova “realizma v vyschem smysle” [On the Poietic Nature the Word. The Ontology of the Word in the Work of F.M. Dostoevsky as the Fundament of “Realism in a Higher Sense”]. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2004. 480 p. (In Russ.)

34. Kasatkina, T.A. Sviashchennoe v povsednevnom: dvusostavnyi obraz v proizvedeniiakh Dostoevskogo [The Sacred in the Ordinary: The Two-Folded Image in the Works of F.M. Dostoevsky]. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2015. 528 p. (In Russ.)

35. Kogan, G.F. “‘Zagadochnoe’ imia Svidrigailova (‘Prestuplenie i nakazanie’ i periodicheskaia pechat’ 1860-kh godov)” [“The ‘Mysterious’ Name of Svidrigailov (Crime and Punishment and Periodical Press in 1860s”]. Izvestiia AN SSSR. Seriia literatury i iazyka, vol. 40, no. 5, 1981, pp. 426−435. (In Russ.)

36. Lendova, O.V., and Novikova, M.V. “Onomastika v romane F.M. Dostoevskogo ‘Prestuplenie i nakazanie’” [“Onomastics in Dostoevsky’s Novel Crime and Punishment”]. Aktual’nye voprosy sovremennoi filologii i zhurnalistiki, no. 1 (28), 2018, pp. 69−74. (In Russ.)

37. Letiagin, L.N. “Usadebnyi metalandshaft Rossii” [“Russian Estate Metalandscape”]. Russkaia usad’ba: Sbornik Obshchestva izucheniia russkoi usad’by [Russian Estate: Collection of the Society for the Study of the Russian Estate], issue 10 (26). Moscow, Zhiraf Publ., 2004, pp. 9−18. (In Russ.)

38. Magaril-Il’iaeva, T.G. Proizvedeniia F.M. Dostoevskogo 1840-kh − nachala 1860-kh godov kak “edinyi tekst” [Dostoevsky’s Works in 1940s — Beginning of 1860s as a “Single Text”: PhD Dissertation]. Moscow, 2019. 181 p. (In Russ.)

39. Makaricheva, N.A. “Paradigma ‘usad’ba – dom – ugol’ v tvorchestve Dostoevskogo” [“The Paradigm ‘Estate – House – Corner’ in Dostoevsky’s Work]. Usad’ba real’naia — usad’ba literaturnaia: sbornik statei [Estate in Reality – Estate in Literature: Collected Articles]. Melikhovo, A.P. Chekhov State Literary Memorial Museum Publ., 2008, pp. 224–229. (In Russ.)

40. Nechaeva, V.S. “Iz literatury o Dostoevskom: Poezdka v Darovoe” [“From the Literature on Dostoevsky: A Trip to Darovoye”]. Novyi mir, no. 3, 1926, pp. 128–144. (In Russ.)

41. Nechaeva, V.S. V sem’e i usad’be Dostoevskikh (pis’ma M.A. i M.F. Dostoevskikh) [Inside Dostoevskys’ Family and Estate (Correspondence of M.A. and M.F. Dostoevsky)]. Moscow, Sotsekgiz Publ., 1939. 160 p. (In Russ.)

42. Prokhorov, G.S. “Arkhiv Monogarovskoi tserkvi kak dostoevedcheskii istochnik” [“The Archive of the Church in Monogarovo as a Source for Research on Dostoevsky”]. Viktorovich, V.A., editor. IV Letnie chteniia v Darovom [4th Summer Readings in Darovoye]. Kolomna, 2016, pp. 129–169. (In Russ.)

43. Safronova, E.Iu. “Genius loci v poetike romana F.M. Dostoevskogo ‘Selo Stepanchikovo i ego obitateli’” [“The Genius Loci in the Poetics of Dostoevsky’s Novel The Village of Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants”]. Problemy istoricheskoi poetiki, vol. 16, no. 3, 2018, pp. 65–84. (In Russ.)

44. Safronova, E.Iu. “Topos usadebnogo raia v romane F.M. Dostoevskogo ‘Selo Stepanchikovo i ego obitateli’” [“The Topos of the Estate Paradise in Dostoevsky’s Novel The Village of Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants”]. Issledovatel’skii zhurnal russkogo iazyka i literatury, vol. 7, no. 2 (14), 2019, pp. 169–186. (In Russ.)

45. Safronova, E.Iu. “‘Selo Stepanchikovo i ego obitateli’ i ‘Nabeg na Barsukovku’: parodiinosatiricheskii modus v izobrazhenii usad’by u F.M. Dostoevskogo i M.A. Kuzmina” [“The Village of Stepanchikovo and Its Inhabitants and The Raid on Barsukovka: A Parody-Satirical Mode in the Image of the Estate by Fyodor Dostoevsky and Mikhail Kuzmin”]. Bogdanova, O.A., editor. Russkaia usad’ba i Evropa: diakhroniia, nostal’giia, universalizm: Kollektivnaia monografiia [Russian Estate and Europe: Diachrony, Nostalgia, Universalism: Collective Monograph]. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2020, pp. 85–98. (In Russ.)

46. Skuridina, S.A. Poetika imeni u F.M. Dostoevskogo (na materiale romanov “Podrostok” i “Brat’ia Karamazovy”) [Poetics of Names in Dostoevsky’s Work (Based on the Novels The Adolescent and The Brothers Karamazov)]. Voronezh, Nauchnaia kniga Publ., 2007. 302 p. (In Russ.)

47. Tikhomirov, B.N. “Lazar’! griadi von”. Roman F.M. Dostoevskogo “Prestuplenie i nakazanie” v sovremennom prochtenii: Kniga-kommentarii [“Lazarus, Come Out”. A Modern Reading of Dostoevsky’s Novel Crime and Punishment. Commentary Book]. St. Petersburg, Serebrianyi vek Publ., 2005. 472 p. (In Russ.)

48. Fedorov, G.A. “Sel’tso Darovoe” [“The Village of Darovoye”]. Za novuiu zhizn’ (Zaraisk), 1981, November 10, 12, 19, 21, 26. (In Russ.)

49. Fedorov, G.A. “Pomeshchik. Ottsa ubili...” [“The Landowner. Father Was Killed...”]. Novyi mir, no. 10, 1988, pp. 219–238. (In Russ.)

50. Fedorov, G.A. Moskovskii mir Dostoevskogo: Iz istorii russkoi khudozhestvennoi kul’tury XX veka [Dostoevsky’s Moscow World: From the History of Russian Artistic Culture of the 20th Century]. Moscow, Iazyki slavianskoi kul’tury Publ., 2004. 459 p. (In Russ.)

51. Volgin, I.L., editor. Khronika roda Dostoevskikh [The Chronicle of the Dostoevsky Family]. Volgin, I.L. Rodnye i blizkie: Istoriko-biograficheskie ocherki [Family and Friends: Historical and Biographical Essays]. Moscow, Fond Dostoevskogo Publ., 2012. 1232 p. (In Russ.)

52. Shiller, Fridrikh. Otrechenie [Renunciation]. Trans. from German by N.K. Chukovsky. Available at: (Accessed 08 Aug. 2022). (In Russ.)

53. Shchennikova, L.P. Imena [Names]. Available at: (Accessed 08 Aug. 2022). (In Russ.)