Author: Tatiana A. Kasatkina
Information about the author:

DSc in Philology, Director of Research, Head of the Research Centre “Dostoevsky and World Culture,” A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya St., 25A, bld. 1, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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For citation:

Kasatkina, T.A. “‘Zhirnyi’ and ‘Polnyi’ in Crime and Punishment. For an Apology of Porfiry Petrovich.” Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 1 (25), 2024, pp. 29–44. (In Russ.)

Received: 05 Mar. 2024
Published: 25 Mar. 2024
Issue: 2024 no. 1 (25)
Pages: 29-44

UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83.3(2=411.2)
Keywords: Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, Porfiry Petrovich, alchemical symbols, the Philosopher’s stone, lexical drawing of the text, accentuation of synonyms.
Abstract: The article is devoted to the analysis of the image of Porfiry Petrovich. The analysis is based on the lexical drawing of the text created by Dostoevsky in Crime and Punishment by distributing the synonymous words “zhirnyi” (“fat”) and “polnyi” (“full” + “plump”) in it. “Fat,” taking a place in the characteristics of “positive” characters and displacing the more expected in this case “polnyi,” shifts the perception of the word “polniy” to another segment of its semantic field: it is displaced from the reader’s consciousness as related to physical complexion (“plump”) and actualizes the general meaning of completeness (integrity, fulfillment). This shift in meaning is supported by the repeated use of various words in the text with the root “poln” precisely with the meaning of final completion. If we proceed from this point, the author’s characteristics of Porfiry Petrovich, which at first glance seem disjointed, strange, derogatory, and marginalizing, begin to gather into a completely coherent whole. They gather into a unity that is fully described by the character’s name, which in Russian reads like “the red stone” or “the red stage in stone making.”


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