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en3452 lecture 01 introduction.doc

3 Pages

Course Code
EN 3452
Rimma Volynska

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1 Introduction to Dostoevsky Dostoevsky (in translation) AP/EN 3452 Dr. Rimma Volynska Historical Context 1825-1835: Tsar Nicholas I emperor of Russia. • December 1825: Decembrist uprising in response to Nicholas I’s assumption of throne. A utocracy AON: doctrine of Nicholas I. O rthodoxy  • Enforced during N ationalism Dostoevsky’s university years, prompted his involvement in illegal societies, some of which were socialist in nature. Intelligentsia: young, forward-thinking group who believe the social environment is flawed and use writing to bring about change. • Popular notion in revolutionary-driven youth at the time. Petrashevsky Circle: one of the many secret socialist groups comprised of young people opposed to AON policies.f • Actuely aware of social inequality in Russia. • Many of these such groups set up secret publishing houses. Mikhail Petrashevsky interested in writings of Charles Fourrier. • Fourrier a French utopian-socialist thinker looking for complete reconstruction of society. Nicholas I used secret police, heavy spying to track secret groups like Petrashevsky’s. • No trials were held for arrests, many executions ordered. Physiology of St. Petersburg. • St. Petersburg built artificially by Peter the Great in an attempt to connect Russia to Europe/Western society. o Structured/influenced by neo-Classicism. o Built over bones of 200 000 dead serfs. • St. Petersburg originally built as a fortress, then used as a prison by Nicholas I. Alexander II succeeds Nicholas I. • 1863: Alexander II frees serfs. Dostoevsky (1821-1881) Dostoevsky’s family part of well-to-do gentry. 2 Dostoevsky’s mother, Maria, died whi
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