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Unpublished Paper
Fyodor Dostoevsky and idea of ‘pocvennicestvo’
  • Boguslawa Lewandowska
It would be rather difficult to show that Fyodor Dostoevsky was a thinker remaining within the compass of consistent world view and that his utterances are of the conceptual form. Russian thinkers seldom expressed explicite their own world view in their philosophical treatises, newertheless they are remaining original thinkers. Fyodor Dostoevsky may be considered as one of the adherents of the current called the ‘pocvennicestvo’; the last word being derived from the Russian verb ‘pocva’, which means ‘soil’. The current ‘pocvennicestvo’ is one of the collective world view, which were appearing among some Slavic nations in the Dostoevsky’s epoch. Impugning nihilism in Russian culture became one of the purposes of literary and journalistic activity not only of Dostoevsky but also of some another adherents of the mentioned current, as Nikolai Strakhov and Apollon Grigoriev. Adherents of positivism and materialism were for F. Dostoevsky the symbol of nihilism perceived as a force strange to Russian culture. The Dostoevsky's article entitled ‘Mister ...bow and the problem of art.’ published in 1861 is regarded as the first sign of the fight of ‘pocvennicestvo’ adherents with nihilism. Dostoevsky criticized nihilism among other in the article entitled ‘Two camps of theorists’ (1862), as well as in the another one ‘Advertisement for a subscription to Wremia for 1863 year’. The main anti-nihilistic Dostoewsky's utterances may be found in the publication ‘Notes from underground’, which was inserted in the journal ‘Epocha’ (1864), and in the novel entitled ‘Crime and punishment’, which was published in 1866 in the columns of the monthly ‘Russkij Wiestnik’. According to Nikolai Strakhov, which was the publisher and critic of Dostoevsky's works, the factors, which distinguish Raskolnikov from the other nihilists, it is his open mind and hot heart in the ma king, as well as the fact that he is a ‘genuine man’. Raskolnikov created theory which due to the nonmediocrity of the theory creator mind more deeply and more resolutely disagrees with life than the other nihilistic ideas and thoughts. Realizing his thoughts Raskolnikov conduces himself to complete ‘breaking up with his life’ and to destroying his own future. Dostoevsky was going to show suffering of a ‘living man’, who had completely ‘broken up with his life’, i. e. rejected life consistent with ‘life laws’ and accepted life consistent with a theory created by himself. Here arises the question: What is the life abandoned by Raskolnikov - theorist? Fyodor Dostoevsky, similarly as Nikolai Strakhov, in conceiving the life (‘living life’) was a pupil of Apollon Grigoriev, and all the three peculiarly anticipated the ‘philosophy of life’ of the end of the century of Nietzsche, Simml and Dilthey. Raskolnikov is beyond compare more unhappy than an ordinary delinquent no motivated by any theory who, e.g. commited an ignoble deed in such situations as in anger or in seeking revenge, when was extremely excited his envy, desire of making the greatest profit or another desire caused by vital incentives and motives. Raskolnikov is feeling that the crime commited on his own moral nuture is more greater sin than the criminal act of homicide itself. For these reasons, the Nikolai Strakhov's statement it seems to be understandable that all the sense of the novel entitled ‘Crime and punishment’ is contained in the following Sonia Mamieladova's words: ‘What you have, what you have done for you yourself!’.
Publication Date
Spring March, 2010
Citation Information
Boguslawa Lewandowska. "Fyodor Dostoevsky and idea of ‘pocvennicestvo’" (2010)
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