Vladimir K. Kantor. "Brat'ja Karamazovy" F. Dostoevskogo. Moskva: Khudozhestvennaja literatura, 1983. 1 90 pp. Paper, 25k. $ 1. 00.
In recent years Soviet Dostoevsky scholarship has focused on both style and content of
The Brothers Karamazov (see V. E. Vetlovskaja's Poetika romana "Brat'ja Karamazovy". Leningrad: Nauka, 1977 and N. Ja. Berkovskij's
"О Братьях Карамазовых", Voprosy literatury, no. 3, 1981). Vladimir Kantor also investigates stylistic and thematic patterns, but does so primarily for the purpose of supporting a Marxist interpretation. He justifies his approach by pointing to the ambiguity and openendedness of the novel, which allows for multiple perspective. In general, Kantor builds on the assumption that
The Brothers Karamazov is a metaphor for Dostoevsky's rejection of capitalism in favor of populism guided by the Orthodox Church. Though Kantor in the end disagrees with Dostoevsky's emphasis on religious resolution of ethical problems, he gives generous play to the idea that recognition of selfishness and eventual regeneration must come from individual soul searching and reaching out to others, not from edicts imposed from without.
To support his contention that the major characters in the novel move from a capitalist inspired, self-centered attitude toward concern for the disenfranchised population, Kantor analyzes Fedor Karamazov and his sons along rather selective lines. Dostoevsky's "Karamazov force, " which affects all the Karamazovs in one way or another, is seen by Kantor as a symbol for the major danger confronting Russia in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In its basest form it embodies the inhuman features of serfdom adapted to more modern exploitative ways. Fedor Karamazov is posited as the embodiment of the ex-serf owner turned capitalist. Kantor describes Fedor's patriarchal despotism, subjugation of women, insensitivity to others, shady business practice and accumulation of 100,
000 rubles from a penniless state as a perfect example of how capitalism reinforces negative historical patterns to bring about total corruption. The fact that Fedor received considerable wealth
through his first marriage is correspondingly muted in the analysis. Kantor's parallel between Fedor and Ivan IV (pp. 76-77) serves as a good illustration of how he links Dostoevsky's negative characters to Russia's despotic upper class in order to give the novel a wider social dimension. Thus, both Fedor and Ivan IV were humbled in childhood, grew into depraved tyrants given to drunkenness and violent rages, played the fool with their victims, misused women and consequently represent unchecked evil forces in society. For Kantor, even secondary characters and scenes demonstrate Dostoevsky's attempt to depict the unholy alliance between Western capitalism and native predisposition to dissolution, exemplified by Samsonov, Ljagavyj, Trifon Borisovich, the drunken revels in Mokroe, as well as by Rakitin, who prospers by prostituting his writing talents.
In the story of the three legitimate brothers Kantor sees various attempts to escape the evils of the "Karamazov force, " while Smerdjakov's lackey status is a bourgeois rebirth of it. Ivan's hatred of his father and of Mitja are indicative of his concern for justice. Ivan is analyzed as far too removed from ordinary people to find a constructive way of channelling his anger. His "Grand Inquisitor" poem serves to pinpoint his rejection of injustice, though in Kantor's view Ivan remains infected by extreme individualism and therefore subject to failure. He is too weak to effect justice by himself, yet tragically unaware that union with the spiritual force of the downtrodden could render his efforts more fruitful. Kantor sympathizes with Ivan's spiritual sufferings and his attempt to save Mitja at the trial, but interprets Ivan's failure as proof of the latter's insufficiencies. Mitja is described as coming closer to acknowledging the necessity of a social conscience. Kantor first develops Mitja's character portrait along generally accepted lines, then singles out two points: 1) Mitja's reliance on miracles or instantaneous solutions to his problems, which are subsequently never resolved, and his unwillingness to invest honest time and energy in the reform of his personality. 2) The identification of Mitja's dream figure "dite" with the starving peasantry. After the dream, Mitja realizes that resolution of his anguish lies in long term selfless service to the poor, but is unable to make the necessary sacrifices, as is demonstrated by his refusal to give up Grushen'ka. Kantor perceives a glimmer of hope in Mitja's resolve to return from America to become a faceless, ordinary peasant. Kantor's most positive thoughts are reserved for Alesha,
but he offers no new insights into that character. Alesha's involvement with the monastery is seen as temporary. Kantor believes that Dostoevsky reserved Alesha's secular odyssey of immersion into popular suffering and protest against social injustice for the never-written second volume of
The Brothers Karamazov. In fact, Kantor--noting Zossima's disagreements with institutionalized religion--surmises that Dostoevsky meant to fashion Alesha into a Russian Orthodox socialist and future rebel.
In general, Kantor downgrades Dostoevsky's emphasis on the importance of a religious orientation. For Kantor, the entire novel is proof of Dostoevsky's misplaced trust in religion as defender of social justice. He notes that Alesha is as powerless as Christ in "The Grand Inquisitor" to effect changes and prevent disasters. Lise, Alesha's own evil alter ego, remains un-
conquered, and Alesha's final idyllic scene with the twelve young disciples may well be tempered by a Judas among them. The future of the other brothers, too, is clouded and points to failure. The major female figures are not analyzed by Kantor; indeed, they are barely mentioned. Instead, Kantor includes a lengthy analysis of the trial proceedings, which he sees as Dostoevsky's judgment on the inadequacy of the intelligentsia. Since neither prosecutor, defense counsel nor the brothers themselves are able to understand the complexity of their motivations, despite the advantage of superior education, Kantor believes that Dostoevsky entrusted final judgment to the peasant jury, the repository of innate native wisdom (narodnaja pravda). The fact that this jury brings in the wrong verdict in the end seems to contradict such an assumption, but Kantor often introduces Dostoevsky quotes, taken out of context, to support his conclusions. Thus he cites a Dostoevsky remark that although the people are always basically right, they occasionally err in practicing their wisdom (p. 36).
The overall tone of Kantor's treatise is in no way propagandistically tendentious, but politely suggestive. Many of his assertions are credible, especially in regard to Dostoevsky's views about Western capitalism, but the extension of these views to fit a theme in the novel is sometimes labored. Though Kantor disagrees with Dostoevsky's religious emphasis, he sees Dostoevsky's questioning and probing at a critical time in Russia's history as valuable, and gives highest praise to Dostoevsky's artistic transformation of the issues. Kantor's style should be easily accessible to students with
graduate level competency in the language. Students and instructors of Dostoevsky courses will find this book informative for the insight it provides into contemporary Soviet Dostoevsky scholarship.
Margot K. Frank
Randolph-Macon Woman's College
Michael R. Katz. Dreams and the Unconscious in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction. Hannover, N. H. and London: University of New England, 1984.
Mr. Katz's monograph study of dreams is valuable above all for its comprehensive survey of dreams in the works of seven Russian nineteenth-century authors. Over thirty dreams are quoted in full in the text, and in the Appendix about forty to fifty more receive mention or a brief treatment.
The author begins his study ab ovo referring to the Odyssey, the Aeneid, the Bible and the subsequent development up to Freud and Jung, concentrating mainly on English and German nineteenth-century authors. A second introductory chapter reviews the use of dreams in the literature of medieval Russia and late eighteenth- early nineteenth-century literature (Karamzin, Zhukovsky, Griboedov). However, the main body of the study consists of four monograph chapters on Pushkin, Gogol, Dostoevsky and Tolstoy.
The following review will refer primarily to the chapter on Dostoevsky.
Rejecting the psychoanalytic approach to dreams, the author declares his intention to concentrate on the dream as a literary technique with special reference to the contribution of dreams to fictional characterization, narrative structure and the author's theme in a given text. Katz develops a fairly simple scheme which he sees first realized in Pushkin's works: The actual or "experiential" dream (son) of the fictional character is juxtaposed to his conscious wishful thinking and daydreaming (mechta). The former, which arises from the depth of the subconscious, thereby tends to work as a corrective to the latter, the contrived and rational,
though usually unrealistic "figurative" dream of the character. In the course of his study Katz speaks of creative, poetic, conscious, subconscious, experiential, and figurative dreams, but does not apply these terms consistently. "Experiential" tends to be identified with subconscious dreams, and "figurative" with conscious dreams (fantasies). Yet an "experiential" dream need not be based on actual experience, but can also be the allegorical representation of metaphysical concepts. "Figurative" dreams are not dreams at all in the strict sense of the word. They represent not only the intentions and desires of the character (Raskolnikov's Napoleonic ambitions, Arkadyj's dream of becoming a Rothschild), but also emotional experiences which can be accompanied by hallucinatory phenomena, as in the case of Prince Myshkin. They also include the visions of Stavrogin and Versilov of a golden age of mankind. These remarks may indicate already what becomes obvious to the reader at an early stage - the author really has no clear scheme for the classification of dreams apart from the aforementioned distinction between experiential/subconscious and figurative/conscious dreams. The relationship between literary dreams and such aspects of literature as
genre and trend (movement, school, period) are not investigated in the book. Each dream remains firmly bound to the author and the text where it occurs. Exceptions are the three dreams from the works of Karamzin, Zhukovsky, and Griboedov, which are said to form an evolutionary sequence leading to Pushkin's use of dreams - perhaps a too simplistic scheme. Apart from dreams in Zhukovsky's
Svetlana and Griboedov's Woe from Wit, all examples are taken from prose texts. No mention is made of Ulybyshev's
Son (1819), Dostoevsky's Son smeshnogo cheloveka, and Korolenko's
Son Makara, to mention only three famous dreams of nineteenth-century Russian prose, all of which one might have expected to see included. On the other hand, the wealth of material necessitates all too brief discussions of individual dreams and a neglect of the overall structure of the text in which the dream occurs. Being just one component of the textual structure, the literary dream should have been analyzed with reference to
all relevant aspects of the text's structure. It is also a serious limitation of the study that the author, judging from the annotation and the analysis, was apparently able to use secondary literature in English and Russian only. Bodo Zelinsky's well-known important study of Romantic literature in Russia, which contains numerous references to dreams (cf. the index of Zelinsky's book), remains outside Katz's scope as do other works in German and French, although most have found a place in the Biblio-
graphy (listing approximately 150 titles).
The analysis of dreams in The Double was obviously written without knowledge of W. Schmid's study (in German) of this novella, which would have added another dimension to Mr. Katz's analysis. Similarly, Katz is unaware of this reviewer's book on the young Dostoevsky (1979) offering an interpretation of the tale
The Landlady which also considers the dreams in it and points to the possible literary source of one of them. Natalie Reber's discussion of dreams in Dostoevsky (Munich Dostoevsky Conference 1981, published 1983) is also unknown to him. Mr. Katz disregards (or is unaware of) Konrad Onasch's classification of dreams in
Crime and Punishment in his book Der verschwiegene Christus (1976) and R. Lauth's
"Ich habe die Wahrheit gesehen". Die Philosophie Dostojewskis (Chapter: "Der Traum", pp. 98-107; Munich 1950). The same applies to studies in French such as Catteau's
La création littéraire chez Dostoievski (1978). Consequently the monograph remains largely a summary of research in Russian and English on the topic of dreams in the prose of four major Russian authors.
Nevertheless, Mr. Katz's monograph is a useful collection of materials combined with brief analyses which will be appreciated by the student of Russian literature and may well stimulate further research leading eventually to more appropriate classifications of dreams as a literary device.
Rudolf Neuhäuser Klagenfurt University
Sven Linnér. Dostojevskij: helgonbild och livsmystik. Teckningar med Dostojevskij-motiver ur Torsten Billmans skissbok. Stockholm: Atlantis, 1982. 304 pp.
This is the Swedish version of Linnér's Starets Zosima in The Brothers Karamazov, published in 1975 (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell), with the beautiful subtitle
A Study in the Mimesis of Virtue. A new introductory chapter has been added, providing the non-specialist with the necessary literary and biographical context; the scholarly apparatus has been radically cut, but the bibliography has been updated and more Scandinavian works on
Dostoevsky have been included. Finally, the book has been illustrated by the Swedish artist Torsten Billman, whose sketches of Dostoevsky's characters form an appendix.
To read Linnér's study in Swedish is an even greater pleasure than to read it in English; without losing in precision, his style gains in both elegance and ease when he writes in his own language. Coming to Dostoevsky from comparative literature and the psychology of religion, Linnér is able to throw new light on Dostoevsky's art, particularly on the problem of how to represent good and virtuous characters within the framework of nineteenth-century realism, Linnér sees Dostoevsky in contrast to those writers of the same period who solved the problem by representing their saintly characters in the form of highly idealised figures, transcending the realistic conventions of their setting. In Linnér's view, it was Dostoevsky's artistic ambition to make his saintly heroes just as "real" as the remaining characters, thereby opening up the closed world of conventional realism without ever overstepping the limits of verisimilitude.
It is against this background that Linnér develops his analysis of Father Zosima, the hero of Alesha Karamazov's "Life" in the last novel. Zosima is compared with similar characters in Dostoevsky's other novels, notably with Bishop Tikhon from the omitted chapter of
The Devils describing Tikhon's enigmatic encounter with Stavrogin. In his description of Tikhon, Linnér brings out the profound ambiguity of this character, showing that as a psychological portrait represented according to the conventions of realism Stavrogin's interlocutor is infinitely more convincing than Alesha's spiritual father, in whose features Linnér detects an element of sentimentality unacceptable to the modern reader. By shifting the focus from the image of Zosima to the modern reader's reaction to it, Linnér has, however, moved away from the problem of how Dostoevsky composed this figure, which was to become the counterpart to Ivan's Grand Inquisitor. Instead, Linnér proceeds to examine the models for Zosima, both historical and literary, and here he has some very interesting things to say about the relationship of Dostoevsky's positive hero to comparable characters in French literature, in particular to Monseigneur Bienvenu in Victor Hugo's
Les misérables. The parallels between Zosima and the Bishop of Digne are striking, and Linnér allowably refers to Dostoevsky's high regard for Hugo's hero to support his argument. Equally interesting is the
way in which Linnér sees the relationship between the starets and his novice, Alesha Karamazov, as a variation on a constant pattern underlying such pairs as the youth and the hermit in Bernardin de Saint Pierre's
Paul et Virginie, Chactas and Father Aubry, or René and Chactas in Chateaubriand's
Atala. Linnér has convincingly demonstrated that the prototypes of Dostoevsky's spiritual father have to be sought not only in the Orthodox tradition, but also in the European novel.
The limits of Linnér's comparative method, it must be said, become apparent when applied to Zosima's character as he is represented in the novel. By bringing Zosima and Tikhon together in a contrastive analysis according to the conventions of psychological realism Linnér has not taken into account the fact that Dostoevsky represented these two positive heroes by means of techniques so different as to make them virtually incongruous. For while Tikhon and Stavrogin confront each other in a dialogue where Tikhon figures on a par with the other, Zosima in
The Brothers Karamazov functions on two different levels. Before his death he is one of the dramatis personae of the novel. After his death he is transformed into the saintly hero of Alesha's "Life" and becomes a fiction within the fiction. This means that Zosima's words, as they are quoted by Alesha in the "Life, " can no longer be taken as a direct expression of his inner self and subjected to a psychological analysis in the same way as Tikhon's questions and answers in his conversation with Stavrogin. Dostoevsky's representation of dialogue functions differently in his image of Zosima, where we are faced with the problem of reported speech, which is "speech within speech" and at the same time "speech about speech, " to quote Bakhtin's succinct definition. In order to analyse the character of Father Zosima from a psychological point of view, one would first have to analyse how Alesha has represented his own internalised image of Zosima, his spiritual father, in a verbal icon, and to compare this image with Zosima as he appears from the point of view of the author-narrator. It will not do simply to project onto Zosima the conventions of nineteenth-century realism, drawing the conclusion that Dostoevsky's way from Bishop Tikhon to Father Zosima may be regarded as an artistic retreat. From the point of view of structure it is the representation of Zosima which is the more complex one, involving as it does the problem of reported speech and intertextuality. Linnér's negative assessment of Father Zosima will therefore hardly be the final word about this character.
The second part of Linnér's book, including the last three chapters, deals with Zosima's "message, " its validity within the fictional universe of the novel, and its
geistesgeschichtliche frame of reference. The discussion centres on three main themes: life versus the meaning of life, the problem of immortality, and the power of love. Linnér sees Dostoevsky's belief in "living life" (zhivaja zhizn') against the background of nineteenth-century
Lebensphilosophie, the vitalism of writers like George Sand, Victor Hugo, and Balzac and Orthodox theology. Central to Dostoevsky's philosophy of life is the idea that life originates from God and is present in all He has created (p. 181). Inspired by the Finnish-Swedish writer Tito Colliander's meditations on the meaning of the old Church Slavonic hymns, Linnér observes that in Orthodox anthropology the "entrance" of faith into man "is located on an elementary, vital level - far below moral and intellectual distinctions" (p. 189). We do not find the same distinction between Nature and Grace in Orthodox theology as we know it from the Augustinian tradition and from Protestantism. These are rare insights into the religious heritage of Orthodox spirituality for which the reader will feel grateful to Linnér. His reading of
The Brothers Karamazov against the background of the New Testament and the Christian tradition enables him to understand its "message" and to see the problems of the three brothers in the context of Dostoevsky's own time. Linnér's investigation into the mimesis of virtue, which started off as an analysis of Dostoevsky's fictional characters, transcends the boundaries of fiction and confronts the reader with a set of problems that are as real today as they were to Dostoevsky and his contemporaries.
Jostein Børtnes University of Oslo
Dennis Patrick Slattery. The Idiot. Dostoevsky's Fantastic Prince: A Phenomenological Approach. Bern: Peter Lang, 1983. 226 pp., sFr. 48, -.
In The Idiot. Dostoevsky's Fantastic Prince: A Phenomenological Approach Dennis Patrick Slattery takes strong issue with the view that Myshkin is a Christ figure. At most, according to Slattery, he is "a dis-
eased Christ" whose "presence points to the very absence of the Christ who suffered" (p. v. ). Indeed, throughout his book (which, unfortunately bears too many traces of an unrevised dissertation, at times being labeled by the author as "this paper" (p. 8) or "this dissertation" (p. 73)) Slattery attempts to convince us that Myshkin, in his "false purity" (p. 130), cannot truly face the existence of suffering in the world, and that he denies the existence of sin and guilt. "His pity and kindness, left unchecked, make a mockery of virtue" (p. 141).
To my mind, the thrust of this novel is in precisely the opposite direction: Myshkin's activities throughout the novel are a direct response to the suffering, sin and overwhelming guilt he witnesses all around him. Myshkin's own doctrine of "double thoughts" bears witness to his intense awareness of the complexity of the moral motivations possible behind the simplest act. Slattery berates Myshkin for his unChristlike passivity, yet Myshkin's refusal to judge and his insistence, instead, on forgiveness associate rather than sever him from his ultimate model. Slattery asserts that Myshkin "lack(s) courage" and "denies the image of suffering, of man's imperfection and hence his guilt" (p. 1O). Yet he does not go on to support this with evidence from the novel itself. Myshkin's activities in the novel, however misdirected they may be, seem rather to spring from his apprehension of the suffering and the imperfection around him, and from his attempts to love, to accept and to forgive others in the face of nearly every possible outrage.
Slattery claims that "pushed to his furthest expression, Prince Myshkin would become the Grand Inquisitor of Dostoevsky's last novel, whose 'compassion' gives rise to totalitarianism" (p. 89). Yet the Grand Inquisitor regards men as part of a simple herd; he does not hesitate to judge or condemn them in the name of God. Myshkin's resemblance is, once again, rather to Christ, whose silent kiss suggests forgiveness even of the passionate old Jesuit. Ten pages later, Slattery chides Myshkin for wishing to inhabit an earthly realm of absolute certainty. "He does not understand that the more ambiguous world of actuality allows the equally enchanting possibility that two and two may also equal five" (p. 99), Yet what are Myshkin's perceptions of eternal moments and double thoughts if not evidence of his fundamental belief in the presence of inexplicable phenomena within ordinary existence?
Throughout, Slattery, whose work has been deeply and positively influenced by Ivanov, analyzes the interplay in the novel between the images of the garden (as Eden, as Gethsemane) and the city. This focus is, for the most part, a fruitful one. In his delineation of this garden imagery, however, Slattery links the garden space of Pavlovsk with the "edenic" Swiss landscape. But Myshkin's response to the Swiss scenery, as he describes it to Alexandra, is hardly to be associated with a paradise lost. He tells her that such scenery affects him with both pleasure and uneasiness. The scene he describes--of the tremendous waterfall, the medieval castle in ruins, and the "terrible stillness"—invokes the unsettling image of the sublime rather than the harmonious beauty of a tranquil garden.
The novel bears up well to Slattery's hypothesis that Dostoevsky built up his governing images with a care not unlike that of Dante or Chaucer. "Pavlovsk is a larger, more sustained vehicle than the image of the garden, itself a metaphor for a fantastic vision of paradise in which that other garden, Gethsemane, is only subliminally detected... Gethsemane... is latent within the various images of Eden in the novel" (p. 106). (Indeed, Slattery's book is most effective in its ability to illuminate certain observed details—the statue of Venus in Nastasja Filippovna's apartment, the fog at the railway station, the symbolic import of the Chinese vase, the dawns which begin and end the novel. ) The garden and the park--Myshkin's chosen spaces—are the locales for fantasy and revery.
Slattery scrutinizes the stories that Myshkin tells in the first two parts of the novel, noting their preoccupation with matters of time, faith and death. He goes on to illustrate convincingly how these inserted narratives are linked in key ways to the ongoing plot of the novel. "Almost always, they demand to be read as allegories of the novel's larger action" (p. 28). Yet although he reads Myshkin's tales as allegories, Slattery does not consider their parabolic nature. The stories Myshkin tells—to the extent that they offer the other characters and the reader a set of parables—serve once again to identify Myshkin's image, in however transformed a manifestation, with the image of Christ, who also frequently avoided direct judgment and taught through parable instead.
Slattery's critique of Myshkin draws him into an acceptance
of the values of "the community" which, although it fits the rules of classical tragedy, does not correspond to the notion of community as it is presented in the novel. Slattery rightly criticizes Myshkin's role in the fate of the Swiss Marie, but his exoneration of the judgment of her community is jarring. He accepts the view that Marie's sin deserves punishment. "The community offers her expiation. Its members, however cruel, know that retribution is the only way for a person to be reinstated into... society" (p. 52). At the end of his book, Slattery again accepts at face value the judgment of the community, this time in the scene in which the crowd admires Nastasja's beauty in her wedding finery, moments before she flees with Rogozhin. "The community can recognize the truth of Nastasja in all of her humanness in a way unavailable to Myshkin. They love and admire beauty, are elated and elevated by it, and see its need in the culture... The community needs beauty, however imperfect its vehicle may be. Beauty elevates the spirit and promotes hopefulness" (pp. 200-2O1). Here Slattery's misreading is more serious: he fails to acknowledge in this truly nightmarish scene the mocking, lustful undertone of the voices in the crowd. Their response is hardly "sacramental. "
In general Slattery's book is somewhat weakened by his lack of Russian and by the fact that he does not make use of much relevant secondary material in English that bears on his argument. For example, his long analysis of the symbolic function of Rogozhin's knife would have benefited from a dialogue with Dalton's
Unconscious Structure in The Idiot. Moreover, Slattery's rather rigid pairing of Aglaja with Myshkin and of Nastasja with Rogozhin does not capture the powerful complexity of the interlacing relations among these four. Girard's theory of mediated and triangular desire in
Deceit, Desire and the Novel would have offered Slattery a useful tool for analyzing the interrelationships of this group. It is unfortunate that Slattery musters his critical faculties to engage in debate with Yermilov, who need not command serious attention in the first place, but does not grapple with the ongoing main currents of Dostoevsky scholarship. Finally, the book suffers from the lack of an index.
Robin Feuer Miller Harvard University,
Russian Research Center
V. A. Tunimanov. Tvorchestvo Dostoevskogo, 1854-1862. Leningrad: Nauka, 1980. 293 pp. 1r. 9V.
A. Tunimanov examines the traditional opinions of the critics that Dostoevsky's imprisonment in Siberia resulted in a radical alteration of the author's former socio-political views and caused him to undergo a profound spiritual crisis. Tunimanov looks at both the pre-Revolutionary and the contemporary critics and finds that none of their conclusions agree. Their only point of similarity is that they ascribe the changes in Dostoevsky to the single crisis, and here is where Tunimanov calls for a reexamination of this attitude and asks to consider the influence of the post-reform epoch on Dostoevsky.
Unlike many other critics, Tunimanov states that during the political upheavals of 1862, Dostoevsky's journal,
Vremja, "took a courageous position and condemned all the uproar concerning the St. Petersburg fires", but at the same time points out that Dostoevsky began a "cruel polemic with the revolutionary Party. " Many became hostile to Dostoevsky at that time, but their hostility did not affect their admiration for the creative writer. Tunimanov maintains that their admiration declined only much later, when Dostoevsky "transferred his polemics from the journal into his creative work. "
Tunimanov promises to center his attention not on polemics, but on Dostoevsky the artist — to examine his style, form and principles of organization. But he also intends to "characterize the complex creative and personal contacts that Dostoevsky formed with the leaders of
Sovremennik: Dobroljubov, Shchedrin and Chernyshevskij. "
Tunimanov begins by examining the "second beginning, " or the writer's "return to literature. " He laments the lack of Siberian local color in
My Uncle's Dream and Selo Stepanchikovo and calls their setting "general, provincial, standard. " He then juxtaposes the opinions of Tynjanov and Vinogradov and finds that Vinogradov's analysis is more astute. What the latter finds praiseworthy in those works is the "discovery by Dostoevsky of certain types that will reappear in his later works. " Thus he sees Mizinchikov as the prototype of Luzhin, Ganja Ivolgin and Pticyn.
Tunimanov is primarily concerned with examining Zapiski
iz mertvogo doma, which he does not see as accusatory, but as a study of Russian people in general. He finds in Dostoevsky no ready-made formulas, speculative deductions, or judgments. Instead, he says, "... his main aim is depicting life and a sense of reality and his main fear is to be unfaithful to this reality. " Thus, the philosophy and psychology of crime gradually become the center of the book, and rebellion, punishment and free will become the themes. And although the book is about prisoners, Tunimanov feels that it is not an opposition between the criminals and the common people, but about Russian people in general. Unlike Petrashevskij, Dostoevsky did not romanticize the criminal element. In fact, Tunimanov sees the chief merit of the book in that Dostoevsky "without a doubt realized all the bankruptcy of his Utopian ideas before the penal colony's reality, " even though he saw the penal colony as a graveyard of people's talents and Herzen considered this book "the most significant work during the reign of Nicholas I. " Tunimanov closes his long chapter on
Notes from the House of the Dead with a quote from V. Lenin who considered the book "unsurpassed in Russian and world literature, which so wonderfully portrays not only the prison, but the House of the Dead in which the Russian people lived during the reign of the tsars from the House of Romanov. "
In the third chapter Tunimanov analyzes The Insulted and the Injured, citing mostly Dobroljubov's review, which is negative on aesthetic grounds, even though Dobroljubov called Dostoevsky "a humanitarian in the old tradition. " The review is still taken at face value in today's Russia, but Tunimanov, having examined all the deficiencies of the novel, adds that the very same faults can be found in Dostoevsky's later works and they do not diminish the artistic qualities of the works. Tunimanov observes that
Crime and Punishment is Dostoevsky's most artistic work and Porfirij the most interesting and mysterious of all his characters. This digression, however, is made in order to return the reader to the
Insulted and the Injured and to point out that Masloboev is the prototype of Porfirij, though "he is not so bright, and not so talented. "
From chapter four on, the book is devoted to an analysis of polemics - polemics between
Vremja and the other journals, polemics between Dostoevsky and Shchedrin, polemics between Dostoevsky and Chernyshevskij. Having examined all those polemics, the author once again returns to
The House of the Dead, which in retrospect seems even better to him. He sees it as a book "in which the horizon is clear and
almost free of polemical clouds, and the author is not aiming to teach or to be didactic. "
Tunimanov's study is well worth reading if one is interested in polemics, but there is nothing in it that sheds new light on Dostoevsky the artist.
Irina Kirk University of Connecticut
Two Recent Ardis Reprints
F. M. Dostoevskij. Zapiski iz podpol'ja. 1982. 88 pp. Cloth, $ 11. 00; paper, $ 3. 50.
Ardis claims in its most recent brochure that until their printing Zapiski had not been available in a separate edition. But as any teacher knows, the Bradda edition has been available continuously since 1960. (It is currently available, even though not listed in
Books in Print. ) The value of the Bradda text is that the words are accented; but the paperback edition costs $ 7. 95. While the Ardis text is not accented, the lines are numbered; and the low price of $ 3. 5O for paper gives it a clear advantage for use in classes sufficiently advanced as not to require accented material.
Ja. O. Zundelovich. Romany Dostoevskogo: Stat'i. 1983. 242 pp. Cloth, % 25. 00; paper, $ 10. 00. (Reprint of 1963 edition, Tashkent. )
A sophisticated study of the five last novels, untypical of most Soviet criticism. As Zundelovich is not as well known as he should be, it is important that this book be reviewed in
Dostoevsky Studies. Anyone who has already read his essays and would like to take the opportunity to comment on them in some depth should write the Review Editor.
D. M. Fiene, Review Editor
Л. Л. Бем. Достоевский:
Психоаналитические этюды. Берлин: Петрополис 1938. Reprinted by Ardis,
Ann Arbor 1983. 190 pp. Cloth, $
22, 50; paper $ 8, 95.
выпустило в 1983 году репринтированное издание вышедшей в 1938 году в Берлине
книги известного специалиста по изучению творчества Достоевского А. Л. Бема
Людвигович Бем окончил Петербургский университет и был участником знаменитого
Пушкинского семинара профессора С. А. Венгерова в 1908-1919 годах. Из этого
семинара вышли такие замечательные исследователи как Б. М. Эйхенбаум, М. К.
Клеман, Ю. Г. Оксман, А. С. Долинин и др. От последнего автору этой рецензии
довелось услышать немало добрых слов об А. Л. Беме, который нашел в архивах
Пушкинского Дома дневник А. П. Сусловой, позже опубликованный А. С. Долининым.
/См. Вестник литературы, № 5, 1919, Петроград. /
А. Л. Бем с 1919
года жил в Праге и печатал свои статьи о Достоевском на русском, чешском и
немецком языках. Он выпустил несколько сборников трудов о Достоевском под своей
редакцией /1929-1936/. Трижды при жизни Бема его работы вышли отдельными
книгами: в 1928, в 1936 и в 1938 годах.
Достоевский: Психоаналитические этюды вышла в Берлине в 1938 году, и в
условиях уже широко развернувшейся военной кампании, надо думать, стала
библиографической редкостью. Поэтому, переиздав ее, "Ардис" сделал полезное
дело. Однако, на мой взгляд, выход книги Бема интересен не только как дань
уважения к замечательным исследователям прошедшего уже теперь поколения 20-30
годов. Книга Бема читается с громадным интересом и сейчас, несмотря на то, что
многие ее идеи давно уже по кускам растащили последующие исследователи,
ссылаясь, а иногда и "забывая" ссылаться на труды А. Л. Бема...
книга состоит из пяти статьей, введения и заключения. Большинство из них было
написано в 20-е годы, в период наибольшего увлечения литературоведов теориями 3.
Фрейда. Отсюда и общее название книги - Психоаналитические этюды - и
заглавия отдельных ее глав: "Снотворчество", "Развертывание сна" /о Вечном
муже/, "Драматизация бреда" /о Хозяйке/, "Проблема вины", "Рассудок и
хотение". Однако Бем уже тогда поставил предел исключительно фрейдистскому
толкованию творчества Достоевского. Уделяя должное и "снотворчеству" и "бреду",
он искал и
другие "ключи" к
пониманию личности Достоевского. "Философия Достоевского, его мировоззрение, как
совокупность ответов на волновавшие его вопросы, играет направляющую роль в его
творчестве", - писал Бем еще в 1923 году /стр. 52/. Позже, готовя к изданию
сборник своих статей в 30-е годы, он уже формулировал известное отталкивание от
психоаналитического метода, называя свой подход "структуральным /стр. 13/.
Бем принадлежал к
тому теперь уже редко встречающемуся типу исследователей, которые постоянно
думают о предмете своего исследования, развивая и уточняя свою концепцию, и
постепенно формулируя свои идеи всё точнее и точнее.
статья в книге Бема - о Хозяйке: "Драматизация бреда". Он по сути дела
проводит весьма существенную грань между тем, что может быть определено
фрейдовским понятием "Эдипова комплекса" и является как бы невольно
подсознательным, материалистически объяснимым, и тем, что Бем называет,
используя термин самого Достоевского, "мечтательством". Мечтательство героев
Достоевского, по Бему, есть особый "душевный фон", "душевная болезнь" самого
Достоевского, которая развилась в нем от сознания неравенства, "неравновесия"
между "внутренним" и "внешним" /стр. 104-5/. Бем первый понял трагическую и
катастрофическую природу мечтательства и старался объяснить ее сложным
комплексом мировоззрения самого Достоевского, которое складывалось под влиянием
многих обстоятельств его личной и творческой жизни. В послесловии к своей книге
Бем сформулировал чрезвычайно важные выводы, в сущности уводящие нас от
одностороннего толкования произведений Достоевского по фрейдовским комплексам:
"общей идеей", "связывающей во одно и личность и творчество Достоевского", Бем
считает проблему "замкнутой в себе личности", проблему "отъединения, ощущаемого
в глубине сознания грехом и приводящего в конечном счёте к катастрофе" /стр.
187/. От этого "отъединения" личности /экзистенциализма - Е. Д. /, по Бему,
"назревает бунт" и "чувство вины прорывается наружу" /в произведениях 40-х
годов/, позже герои под влиянием тех же чувств становятся "пленниками одной
страсти". "В сущности, - пишет Бем, - Достоевский рисует нам всё одного и того
же "отщепенца", но каждый раз он показывает нам иную его психологическую
разновидность" /стр. 189/. Думается, это и есть истинный "ключ" к пониманию так
называемой "тайны" Достоевского. Чем больше биографических и мемуарных
материалов появляется, чем больше мы узнаем о процессе творчества Достоевского,
публикуя его черновики и записные книжки, неизвестные Бему, тем больше мы
убеждаемся, что именно увеличение этой непосредственной информации приближает
Достоевского. И напротив, всякие искусственные построения, где метод преобладает
над фактами и здравым смыслом /например, истолкование реплики Раскольникова о
"царе-Горохе" в духе фрейдовских комплексов, или постижение какого-то "скрытого"
смысла в определенном наборе согласных/, лишь затрудняет приближение к "тайне"
великого творца. В этом смысле книга Бема весьма поучительна: написанная в годы
увлечения психоанализом и отдающая дань этому методу в литературоведении, она
призывает исследователя к разумной осторожности и плюрализму в самом хорошем
смысле этого слова.
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Г. М. Фридлендер, ред.
Материалы и исследования, том 5. Ленинград: Наука 1983. 278 стр. 1 р. 80 к.
Пятый том серии Фридлендера состоит из
четырех разделов: "Достоевский и современность", "Неопубликованные тексты
Достоевского", "Статьи и исследования" и "Сообщения. Заметки. Новые материалы".
В первый раздел включено три статьи: Г.
Фридлендера /"Художественный мир Достоевского и современность"/, Б. Бурсова /"К
спорам о Достоевском"/ и П. Бекедина /"Шолохов и Достоевский"/; затем следует
письмо Горького и отзывы шести деятелей советской культуры о Достоевском.
Вступительная статья поражает такими обобщениями, как: Мережковский, Волынский и
Шестов узнали в героях
Бесов самих себя, "ощутили тесное психологическое родство
с ними"; на Западе почти каждое из философских и литературно-эстетических
течений испытало соблазн "присвоить" Достоевского себе; "потомки Петра
Верховенского и Шигалева на Западе охотно используют наследие Достоевского для
борьбы с коммунизмом... " и т. д. Бурсов как бы оправдывает споры о "великом
русском писателе" и его "полемическом реализме". Подчеркивается, что "зарубежные
исследователи" интересуются в первую очередь поэтикой Достоевского, что
советские критики /"мы"/ пишут "по-разному" и спорят о Достоевском.
Во втором разделе опубликованы три
черновых наброска к
Братьям Карамазовым /всего 14 строчек/ с ценными коммен-
тариями Т. Орнатской, затем письмо
Достоевского к Ю. И. Вольфраму.
Среди "Статей и исследований" выделяется
работа В. Владимирцева /"Опыт фольклорно-этнографического комментария к роману
Бедные люди"/. Выясняется этнографический аспект романа, где присутствуют или
упоминаются представители около 150-ти сословие-классовых и
профессионально-трудовых групп и прослоек. Подробно разбираются фольклорные
отражения /пословицы, поговорки, причитания, плачи и др. / в речевом стиле
романа. Автор высказывает предположение, что фамилия "Девушкин" имеет более
конкретное значение: первоноситель матронимичной фамилии возможно был сыном
безмужней и бесфамильной "девушки", крепостной служанки.
Г. Щеников /"Эволюция сентиментального и
романтического характеров в творчестве раннего Достоевского"/ разрабатывает тему
"байронического комплекса", подчеркивая влияние образа Печорина "на создание
хищных и безнравственных типов в творчестве Достоевского". Приводится параллель
между лермонтовским героем и двойником Голядкина. Вывод: "байронический
комплекс" изображался Достоевским как рабское подражание "мефистофельствующего"
"маленького человека" романтическому герою и использовался для пародии на
В статье Ю. Карякина /"Зачем Хроникер в
Бесах?"/ сочетаются "воспоминания" /о поездке автора на Запад в 1960 г.
/, исследование интереса Достоевского к газетным известиям и разбор личности
рассказчика /Хроникера/ в романе. Автор приходит к заключению, что Хроникер
"оказался сильным художественным противовесом известной предвзятой
А. Батюто /"Незамеченные отклики на
Каренину в Дневнике писателя"/ сопоставляет текст 18-ой главы третьей части
романа Толстого с текстом из
Дневника... " за май-июнь 1877 г. /гл. 2-ая/.
Сопоставление текстов сопровождается подробным разбором всех прямых и косвенных
свидетельств толстовского влияния на
Дневник писателя за май-июнь 1877 г.
Н. Буданова /"Диалог с автором Нови в
Дневнике писателя за 1877 г. "/ в своем обстоятельном исследовании выявляет
скрытую полемику Достоевского с Тургеневым по поводу ключевых проблем
Исследование В. Ветловской /"Pater
Seraphicus"/ - ценный вклад в изучение
Братьев Карамазовых. Мнение о том, что
Pater Seraphicus /имя святого Франциска
Ассизского/ восходит ко второй части
Фауста Гете, высказывали Д. Чижевский, Л.
Гроссман и R. Matlaw, не приводя ни строгих доказательств, ни опровержений.
Ветловская же развивает эту тему подробно и убедительно, поясняя ряд прямых и
косвенных мотивов, сближающих старца Зосиму и Дмитрия Карамазова с легендарной
личностью Франциска Ассизского. Вывод: имя святого католической церкви
/упомянутое Иваном в разговоре с Алешей/ имеет полемический подтекст и
соответствует общему замыслу Достоевского - "указанию на русский способ
следования по стопам Христа и на русское понимание Христа".
А. Архипова "/Достоевский и Карамзин"/
анализирует двойственность в отношениях Достоевского к Карамзину, историку и
"Заметки и сообщения" в основном связаны
с биографией писателя: Достоевский в Главном инженерном училище, Достоевский во
Флоренции в 1868-1869 гг., спор Достоевского с Н. Михайловским и др. В
"Уточнениях и дополнениях к комментарию
Полного собрания сочинений Достоевского"
имеются новые сведения о
Бедных людях, Сибирской тетради, Селе Степанчикове,
Преступлении и наказании /о возможных источниках сна Раскольникова/,
Бобке. Продолжена публикация писем к Достоевскому.
Пятый том, как и другие тома этой серии,
является образцом научной работы, несмотря на известную тенденциозность. Призыв
изучать Достоевского в контексте исторической действительности отражается в
большинстве статей и исследований. Уделяется внимание роману
творчеству Достоевского и
Дневнику писателя. Недоброжелательное отношение к
"зарубежным исследователям", ясно выраженное во вступительной статье, не
поддерживается в других работах. Исследования Владимирцева и Ветловской
исключительно ценны для тех, которые стремятся к изучению поэтики Достоевского.
Victor Terras, F. M. Dostoevsky: Life, Work, and Criticism. (Authoritative Studies in World Literature, ed. Saad Elkhadem). Fredericton: York Press, 1984. 41 pp. Paper, $ 6. 95.
Terras's brief study is one of a series of similar editions meant to introduce the student and general reader to the "great authors" of world literature. Professor Terras, well known as an outstanding Dostoevsky scholar, has produced a concise and generally excellent introduction to Dostoevsky, the writer, thinker, and publicist. Chapter I provides a succinct and accurate biographical sketch. Chapter II presents a chronological list of Dostoevsky's works, giving the place and date of first publication; it is divided into two sections: "Fiction" and "Important Non-Fiction". Chapter III offers a survey of Dostoevsky's major fiction. Professor Terras gives excellent brief summaries of "Notes from the House of the Dead", "Notes from the Underground" and Dostoevsky's five great novels. The latter - between half a page and a page in length - are, at least in this reviewer's opinion, the best thumbnail characterizations of the novels available in any language. One could possibly wish that Terras had included some reference to Dostoevsky's social criticism, particularly in the passages dealing with "Crime and Punishment", "The Idiot" and "The Possessed". In the discussion of "Poor Folk" it appears that Terras misses an essential point of the novel, - its significance as incisive criticism of sentimental romanticism. "The Double" is characterized in a brief paragraph which summarizes its contents. There is no mention made of the fascinating stylistic experiment undertaken by the young author and recently described in scholarly terms by W. Schmid! "The Landlady", "White Nights", "A Faint Heart" are characterized as "realizations of the same romantic theme". There is no reference to the implied "ideological" contents of these stories going back to Dostoevsky's occupation with Utopian socialism. Dostoevsky's first attempt at a "great" novel, "The Insulted and Humiliated", is called a "very Dickensian, tear-jerking potboiler". There is no mention of the more serious aspects of this novel, which - to be sure, - does not reach the heights of later novels, but is definitely more than a "potboiler".
Chapter IV presents the reader with a "Synthetic View of Dostoevsky's Thought and Art" under the subheadings "D. the Journalist and Political Figure, " (some of the social background missing in Chapter III is provided here), "D. 's Philosophic and Religious Thought" (an excellent summary of the mainstream of D. 's thought), "D. the Psychologist" and "D. 's Novellistic Craftsmanship. " The latter is by far the most extensive section of the chapter and summarizes the main features of Dostoevsky's style and the structure of his works. Again this is done in a very competent manner. The book closes with Chapter V, "Annotated Bibliography, " which, in ten subdivisions, lists editions of Dostoevsky's texts in English and secondary literature. The latter shows a heavy bias in favor of American and (translated) Russian emigre studies. The quite excellent studies of Magarshak, Peace, and Jones (all appearing in England) are not mentioned, nor is mention made of important studies in major European languages (e. g., by Catteau or Lauth). Although there is a section, "Some works of Special Interest", where such titles could have been placed, a check reveals that the four titles listed there include three Americans and one pre-Soviet (later emigré) author, - some or all of them of lesser importance than the non-American, non-Russian authors mentioned above. Nevertheless it should be said in summary that Professor Terras has provided the undergraduate student and the general reader with an excellent and concise introduction to one of the world's great writers.
Rudolf Neuhäuser Klagenfurt University