Lecture 22 - /24/09 Dostoevsky(1821-81 Background...

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Lecture 22 11/24/09 Dostoevsky (1821-81) Background: 1805-1815 (Mass migration from Europe to Russia and then from Russia back to Paris). A divorce of the aristocracy from the common people in Russian culture. The fascination with French culture (including language) in upper-class Russians. 1825 Decembrist Revolt . Death of Alexander I. A want to overthrow the monarchy to develop a democratic government via the power of armies. The most repressive regime followed. Dostoevsky, born in 1821 into a world of reaction: full of anxiety, he grew up in this context and later picked up the spirit of the time in his creative writings. Ridiculed heroic image. Circles: After Decembrist Revolt, philosophical discussion organizations took place in private arena. Petrashevsky circle , a private social circle that allows intellectuals to talk about prohibited philosophies (primarily French ones) at Petrashersky’s residence. Dostoevsky’s father had a small estate, he was a very despotic man. He treated his serfs with such cruelty that they eventually got together and murdered him when Dostoevsky was 16. After that his bouts of epilepsy became much worse. He was arrested and scheduled for execution in a St. Petersburg square, but at the last moment he was pardoned by Nicolas I (in a theatrical gesture). Dostoevsky was sent to exile in Siberia. Dostoevsky His career is jeopardized after he participated in Petrashevsky’s circle , a literary reading/discussion group. His later near-death experience (to be executed) brought up the problem of consciousness . From that moment on, the preoccupation of mortality and time becomes significant in his works. After the incident,
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Lecture 22 - /24/09 Dostoevsky(1821-81 Background...

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