Author: Sergey S. Shaulov
Information about the author:

Ph.D. in Philology, senior Researcher, State Museum of the History of Russian Literature, Malaya Molchanovka, 2, 121069 Moscow, Russia,

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For citation:

Shaulov, S.S. “‘The Kumanin Inheritance Case’ and The Adolescent: A Reception Aspect”. Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 4 (12), 2020, pp. 105-116. (In Russ)

Received: 09.07.2020
Published: 25.12.2020
Issue: 2020 no. 4 (12)
Pages: 105-116
UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)
Keywords: : The Adolescent, “the Kumanin case”, history of perception, reception context
Abstract: The article considers a little-known aspect of the autobiographical context of F.M. Dostoevsky’s novel The Adolescent, which is related to the writer’s long-standing dispute with his relatives over A.F. Kumanina’s inheritance. Clear parallels between the vicissitudes of the case and Dostoevsky’s novel suggest that he consciously used this biographical material while working on The Adolescent. Unlike the Petrashevsky case, however, the Kumanin case did not become part of Dostoevsky’s biographical myth. Apparently, this explains both The Adolescent’s relatively poor reception compared to other novels of the great “Pentateuch” and its lesser appeal. In the historical “competition” of legends that distort the popular perception of Dostoevsky’s image, his personality, and life, the case of the Kumanin inheritance was less “successful”. As a result, it practically fell out of the context of The Adolescent’s perception and Dostoevsky’s legacy in general, although the novel begins with a direct mention of a disputed inheritance. Without taking into account its reverberations, the reception aspect of The Adolescent runs the risk of remaining significantly limited.

Acknowledgements: The reported study was funded by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project no.18-012-90013.



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