"An Episode with Modern Positivists" in  Dostoevsky’s novel "The Idiot" Cover Image

«Эпизод с современными позитивистами» в романе Достоевского «Идиот» (из дополнений к комментарию)
"An Episode with Modern Positivists" in Dostoevsky’s novel "The Idiot"

Author(s): Sergey A. Kibalnik
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Literary Texts, Studies of Literature, Russian Literature, Philology
Published by: Петрозаводский государственный университет
Keywords: Dostoevsky; novel "The Idiot"; positivism; anarchism; individualism; hero; prototype; intertext; dispute; cryptography

Summary/Abstract: The chapters VII–Х of the second part of Dostoevsky’s novel "The Idiot" are usually considered in the context of the writer’s disagreement with the ideas of positivism. Whereas they are primarily directed against philosophic anarchism: actually against "social anarchism" by Pierre-joseph Proudhon and implicitly against "individualistic anarchism" by Max Stirner. In that regard the facts of Stirner’s biography are cryptographically depicted in the story of Ganya Ivolgin about Antip Burdovsky’s father’s destiny. In the novel "The Idiot" the motives of anarchism manifest themselves rather than philosophic positivism in relation to Burdovsky and Co. Intertextuality in these chapters appears not only by means of allusions to the ideas of European and Russian anarchism, contained in the statements of certain characters, but also through the details of the origins of one of them In such a way internal ties of characters of "The Idiot", defined by Lebedev as "some consequence of nihilism", are asserted with the ideas of anarchism rather than with those of positivism.

  • Issue Year: 2/2015
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 53-59
  • Page Count: 6
  • Language: English, Russian