Meerson О. Dostoevsky's Taboos. Dresden: Dresden Univ. press, 1998. (Artes Liberates Studies of the Harriman Inst. Columbia Univ.).

Olga Meerson's book ranks as one of the highlights of Dostoevsky criticism simply because it furnishes a key not only to Dostoevsky's idea of human subjectivity but to his narrative technique as well. The taboos discussed are, of course, not those of Dostoevsky himself, but those of his "heroes", haunted by traumatic insult, a psychic wound, something unspoken, yet needing to be covered up by action, "philosophy", and silence... What Meerson calls Dostoevsky's tabooing lies at the heart of his art; nevertheless, up to now, it has never been explored systematically, or throughout his oeuvre. Olga Meerson has succeeded in filling this lacuna in a pleasant style that results from a rare aesthetic sensibility. As a masterpiece of practical criticism, Dostoevsky's Taboos will be of interest not only to the general reader of Dostoevsky's novels but also to the Dostoevsky scholar who will see many a well-known detail here in a new light. PDF