Author: Tatiana G. Magaril-Il’iaeva
Information about the author:

Associate Researcher, Centre “Dostoevsky and World Culture”, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya st. 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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For citation:

Magaril-Il’iaeva T.G., “Voltaire’s Comedy The Prodigal Son in Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent”. Dostoevsky and World Culture. Philological journal, no. 3 (15), 2021, pp. 16-38. (In Russ.)

Received: 15 May 2021
Published: 25 Sep. 2021
Issue: 2021 no. 3 (15)
Pages: 16-38
UDK: 821.16.1.0
BBK: 83.3(2=411.2)
Keywords: Dostoevsky, The Adolescent, Voltaire’s comedy The Prodigal Son, the concept of laughter, laugh and mirth, parable of the Prodigal son.
Abstract: Through the example of Voltaire’s comedy The Prodigal Son, the article shows how Dostoevsky actualizes the worldview and life strategies behind the imagery of other authors, when using their texts in his novel The Adolescent. Nonetheless, Dostoevsky, not only reproposes several different perspectives, but also engages in a dialogue with them and transforms them according to his aim as. Dostoevsky thoroughly weaves the slightly mentioned comedy by the French philosopher into the fabric of the text, and the writer works with it in several mutually dependent directions at once. The quote (taken from the preface, not from the play) stresses the matters that are raised in the preface and the preface itself as a significant element of the composition. The French sentence borrowed by Versilov relates his image with Voltaire’s, as it was perceived by Dostoevsky. In the novel Dostoevsky reflects on the motif of the prodigal son as it is presented in the Bible and also in its transformed version by Voltaire.


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