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Suicide and Folk Beliefs in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment

  • Linda Ivanits

Abstract

There is now a substantial body of scholarship on religious symbolism in Crime and Punishment (Prestuplenie i nakazanie; 1866) that shows, among other things, how Raskolnikov’s conversion in the epilogue is prepared for in the novel proper through a deliberate network of biblical, hagiographic and folkloric imagery.1 Studies exist on such subjects as the sacramental quality of the earth, the pattern of the saint’s life (zhitie) in Raskolnikov’s portrayal, references to Elijah the Prophet, and the use of folk legends, tales, and laments.2 Most of the imagery studied has to do with positive forces and suggests that in the world of Crime and Punishment, as in that of The Brothers Karamazov (Brat’ia Karamazovy; 1880) everything ‘lives and has its being only through its feeling of being connected with mysterious other worlds’.3

Keywords

Folk Belief Russian People Prison Experience English Style Traditional Symbolism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    George Gibian, ‘Traditional Symbolism in Crime and Punishment’, in Feodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment, trans. Jessie Coulson, ed. George Gibian (New York, 1975 ) pp. 519–36.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R. V. Pletniov, ‘Zemlia’, in O Dostoevskom: sbornik statei, ed. A. L. Bem (Prague, 1929 ) I, pp. 153–62.Google Scholar
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  5. T.B.Lebedeva, ‘Sotsial’naia utopiia Dostoevskogo i “zemnoi rai” drevnerusskoi literatury’, in Puti russkoi prozy XIX veka (Leningrad, 1976 ) pp. 75–85.Google Scholar
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  7. James L. Rice, ‘Raskol’nikov and Tsar Gorokh’ (Slavic and East European Journal, XXV, 3, 1981, pp. 38–53 ).Google Scholar
  8. V. R Vladimirtsev, ‘Zal’ius’ slez’mi goriuchimi’(Russkaia rech’, 1988, no. 1, pp. 119–23 ).Google Scholar
  9. 5.
    D. Arban, “‘Porog” u Dostoevskogo’, in G. M. Fridlender, ed., Dostoevskii: materialy i issledovaniia ( Leningrad, 1976 ) II, pp. 19–29.Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    D. K. Zelenin, Ocherki russkoi mifologii: umershie neestestvennoiu smert’iu i rusalki (Petrograd, 1916) pp. 1–40 and elsewhere.Google Scholar
  11. 17.
    Louis Breger, Dostoevsky: The Author as Psychoanalyst (New York and London, 1989) p. 46.Google Scholar
  12. 22.
    E. V. Pomerantseva, Mifologicheskie personazhi v russkom folklore (Moscow, 1975) pp. 87–91 for a discussion of the literary adaptation of the rusalka.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Council for Soviet and East European Studies, and Derek Offord 1992

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  • Linda Ivanits

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