Author: Valentina V. Borisova
Information about the author:

DSc in Philology, Leading Researcher, “Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Memorial Apartment,” Vladimir Dahl State Museum of the History of Russian Literature, Trubnikovsky Lane 17, 121069 Moscow, Russia; professor, Moscow State Linguistic University, Ostozhenka 38/1, 119034 Moscow, Russia; Сhief Researcher, M. Akmullah Bashkir State Pedagogical University, Oktiabrskaia revoliutsiia 3 a, 450008 Ufa, Russia.

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For citation:

Borisova, V.V. “Mikhail Shemyakin’s Illustrations of Dostoevsky’s Novel Crime and Punishment in the Perception of Contemporary Students.” Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 3 (23), 2023, pp. 114–128. (In Russ.)

Received: 08 July 2023
Published: 25 Sept. 2023
Issue: 2023 no. 3 (23)
Department: MUSEUM
Pages: 114-128

UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83.3
Keywords: Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, Mikhail Shemyakin, illustrations, reception.
Abstract: The article analyzes the essays by students at the Moscow State Linguistic University about Mikhail Shemyakin’s exhibit in Dostoevsky’s House-Museum in Moscow, presenting a series of graphic illustrations to the novel Crime and Punishment. The exhibit, titled “Raskolnikov’s Delusions,” reflects the dreamlike content of the novel. The aesthetic reactions of contemporary students are considered here as a significant example of receptive polyphony. In their feedbacks, the students draw connections between the artist’s visual interpretations and their prior encounters with Crime and Punishment during their school studies, admitting that the exhibition revealed the text from a new, unexpected side, which confirms the idea that the perception of a classic work deepens thanks to its figurative visualization. Immersed in the inner world of the novel Crime and Punishment, the students paid attention to key paintings such as the first and last illustrations, framing the entire exhibition. Here Shemyakin conveyed the main idea of Dostoevsky’s text on resurrection, which was emphasized in many reviews. The association of non-verbal and literary texts undoubtedly affected the attention to the details. For example, the symbolic light emanating from the pages of the Gospel in the hands of Sonya Marmeladova, along with the figure of Lazarus, was noted as important. A careful contemplation of Shemyakin’s illustrations led the students to a deeper understanding of the meaning of Dostoevsky’s novel. Their essays testify that, despite the difference in opinions and assessments, the attitude of modern youth towards Dostoevsky’s work, refracted in the art of Shemyakin, generally corresponds to the spectrum of adequate readings of the novel Crime and Punishment in the 21st century.


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