Author: Olga Meerson
Information about the author:

Ph.D. (Columbia University, New York), Professor of Russian Language and Literature at the Slavic Department, Georgetown University, (USA).

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

For citation:

Meerson O. Biblical Subtexts as Arbiters for Ambiguous Passages. Dostoevsky and World Culture, Philological journal, 2019, No 3 (7), pp. 34-51.

Issue: 2019 № 3(7)
Pages: 34-51
DOI: 10.22455/2619-0311-2019-3-34-51
UDK: 83.3(2=411.2)+83+86.37-2
BBK: 821.161.1+82+22
Keywords: authority (narrative), axiology, allusion, apophatic discourse, Bakhtin, Dostoevsky, sacrifice, intertextuality, irony, truth, kenosis, criteria for narrative reliability, moment of truth, literary motivation, parody, subtext (biblical/ liturgical), polyphony, poetics, rhetoric, syntax, scandal, style, Church-Slavonic, the borrowed word, shock.

Abstract: This article sums up various arguments made in the author’s current and previous research of Biblical and Liturgical Subtexts in Dostoevsky. The more important an allusion to a sacred source is for Dostoevsky’s own message in any given work, the more “out of place” these allusions seem to be at first glance. Often the reader even completely represses these allusions forcing them out into the area of the subconscious only – so scandalous and inappropriate they seem to be. This shocking scandalousness of sacred allusions is shared by both Dostoevsky’s own poetics with its unexpected, and unexpectedly reassuring scandalousness, and by what is unexpected and new, or even revolutionary, in the original religious texts he alludes to, such as St. Paul’s message on the Cross in 1Cor. 1:23-24. Thus, the author of the article shows that analyzing these allusions and subtexts can help us solve those riddles of Dostoevsky’s authorial poetics and axiology.



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