Your shopping cart is empty.
Log in

A featured review of the new Academy edition of F.M. Dostoevsky’s Complete Works, vol. 5.

N. Perlina
80,00 ₽


Perlina Nina,

Philologist, Professor Emeritus,

Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47406, USA



The paper presents a featured review of the new Academy edition (Ac‑2) of F.M. Dostoevsky’s Complete Works and Letters in thirty five volumes, vol. 5 (SPb, 2016). Like the preceding Ac‑1:5, the volume’s “Table of contents” includes novellas and stories written during 1862–1866, under the strong impression of his journeys to the main cities of Western Europe. While identical with Ac-1 in content, the number of sheets in Ac‑2 is twice as large, due to the new format and the thematic and structural composition of the textual commentary proposed by the editors. They eliminated numerous “ideological residues” of the Soviet era and projected their commentary against the background of intellectual history and the ethical, theological and aesthetic debates of mid-XIX – early XXI centuries.

The Commentary demonstrates that Dostoevsky’s subtitle “Notes” (zametki, zapiski), rather than indicating fragmentariness, is intended to emphasize the genre unity of the cycle, whose common themes are Russia and the West viewed “from this and the other shore.” Through the entire cycle, Dostoevsky, the supporter of his “native roots” doctrine, carries on heuristic discussions and polemical dialogues with Herzen, Turgenev, with the key-figures of contemporary positivism and nihilism on the subject of Christian faith and areligious individualism. The whole cycle is treated in the Commentary as prolegomena to all the major novels subsequently created by Dostoevsky. In his writings of 1862–1866 Dostoevsky had forestalled Nietzsche’s philosophical and aesthetic convictions, Spengler’s conceptions, as well as the views of European Existentialists and Russian Eurasians. The new format of textual Commentary to the volume makes it possible to treat “Dostoevsky beyond Dostoevsky.”

Keywords: commentary, thematic and structural composition, time-spatial perspective, cycle, “Notes”, genre unity, “Native roots” doctrine, Russia and Europe: from this and the other shore’, forestalled concepts, “Dostoevsky beyond Dostoevsky”.