N.K. Mikhailovsky's Criticism of Dostoevsky: The Cruel Critic
This study analyzes why Mikhailovsky - a leading Russian socialist philosopher and literary critic of the mid-19th century - expressed the most insightful, proto-Bakhtinian views on Dostoevsky's writings. It examines the social and cultural context, specifically in the political climate of Mikhailovsky's journal Otechestvennye Zapiski, the most popular magazine of its time. Russian socialist and populist literary criticism remains terra incognita outside Russia, and stereotypical perceptions of it as obtuse, boring, and appropriated by socialist realism has prevented scholars from focusing on the literary and ideological values of it. However, the roots of modern Russian thought and self-identity took their shape under the direct influence of such social thinkers as Mikhailovsky. Examining the proto-Bakhtinian traits of Mikhailovsky's criticism of Dostoevsky shows the cultural and historical pretext of Bakhtin's discoveries.
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Historical and Literary Context
The Pushkin Days in Moscow
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according Aksakov Aleko analysis audience Bakhtin Belinsky Belinsky's Brothers Karamazov characters concept contemporary context Cruel Talent cruelty debate dialogic Diary discourse Dobroliubov Dostoevsky Dostoevsky's novel Dostoevsky's speech editors educated Eliseev essay European event explained expressed fact fictional Foma Gleb Uspensky Gogol Gogolian Goliadkin Gradovsky hero historical ibid ideal ideas ideological interpretation issue journal journalistic June Katkov Kolosov letter liberal literary criticism meaning Mikhailovskii 1995 Mikhailovsky 1978 monological monument moral Moscow Moskovskie vedomosti native field Nekrasov opinion party peasant people's Petersburg Pisarev poet polemical political polyphony populist precisely present published Pushkin celebrations Pushkin festival Pushkin speech reader realistic reality represented role Russian intelligentsia Russian Literature Russian society Russkii vestnik Saltykov Saltykov-Shchedrin significance situation Slavophiles social Sovremennik suffering Tat'iana torments truth Turgenev underground man's understanding universal Uspensky Uspensky's utterance vestnik Village of Stepanchikovo voice Volgin wanderer words worldview writer wrote