Author: Boris N. Tikhomirov
Information about the author:

Doctor of Philological Sciences, Deputy Research Director of F.M. Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum in St. Petersburg.

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For citation:

Tiknomirov B.N. Sergey Nechaev’s “A Revolutionary’s Catechism”. A Historical Document and Its Role in the Creative History of The Demons. Dostoevsky and World Culture, Philological journal, 2019, No 3(7), pp. 162-178.

Issue: 2019 № 3(7)
Department: ARCHIVE
Pages: 162-178
UDK: 82+821.161.1+13.71
BBK: 83+83.3(2=411.2)+79.3
Keywords: Dostoevsky, Sergey Nechaev, Petr Verkhovensky, “A Revolutionary’s Catechism”, ciphered text, trial of Nechaevtsy, the novel The Demons, creative history, architectonics.

Abstract: The article consists of two relatively independent but interrelated parts. The first part considers S.G. Nechaev’s “A Revolutionary’s Catechism” printed in 1869 in Geneva in L. Tchernetsky’s printing house. Special attention is given to the fact that the text of “Catechism…” was printed in a cipher invented by Nechaev. The article examines the circumstances of the discovering of a copy of “Catechism…” when arresting members of the clandestine organization “People’s Retribution” (Narodnaya rasprava), its deciphering in the course of the investigation committee’s work and its publication as part of the stenographic report about the trial of Nechaevtsy (9 July 1871 in Pravitelstvenny vestnik). The second part analyzes the role of “Catechism…” in the creative history of the novel The Demons, the first part of it having been printed in the journal Russkij vestnik by the time Dostoevsky could read “Catechism…” in the newspaper. The article shows the significant structure proximity of certain parts of “Catechism…” (first of all, “A Revolutionary’s Attitude Towards Society”) to the narrative composition of The Demons. The author advances a thesis of the defining role of “Catechism…” in the architectonics of the novel in total during Dostoevsky’s work on the second and the third parts of the Demons



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