Article: PDF
DOI: 10.26170/FK19-01-03
Abstract: This article features the vast epistolary production of F. M. Dostoevsky from his period of incarceration in penal labour camp (katorga) and exile in Siberia. The purpose of the study is to reconstruct the Christian plot of “salvation” in writer’s life, whose significant attributes had become the Gospels and money from “good people”. Dostoevsky had received such money as well as the first letter in his exile from Decembrist’s wife N. D. Fonvizina, who later passed the torch of goodness on to other Decembrists and their friends such as Baron A. E. Vrangel, General K. I. Ivanov and other people. As it can be seen from the writer’s epistolary, there were a lot of “good people” in his life in exile. They strengthened his Christian spirit and supported him with money. Moreover, Dostoevsky’s letters of this period, considered as the most important biographical source, show that his “banishment” to Siberia had its own peculiarities: the result of being in “sinister place” which caused tensed self-reflection, search for answers to questions: «what I was punished for / what I am to blame for?», was a “rebirth of convictions” which had started on the Semenov Square and had ended during the katorga by accepting ‘the Russian Christ’. One of the research results has been to identify, in writer’s epistolary, the code of “salvation” which he accepted in accordance with Christian faith. The article concludes that his labour camp imprisonment in Omsk and his exile in Semipalatinsk can be represented as typological variant of the situation of involuntary “somewhere-else-ness”, typical among Russian writers of ХIХ–ХХ centuries (as evidenced by direct similarity of destinies between the Decembrists and the Petrashevsky Circle), which, however, has its specific historical, personal and artistic features.

For citation

Borisova, V. V. Epistolary of F. M. Dostoevsky During the Period of Katorga and Exile: Salvation Code / V. V. Borisova. In Philological Class. 2019. №1 (55). P. 23-27. DOI 10.26170/FK19-01-03.