Reawakening National Identity: Dostoevskii's Diary of a Writer and Its Impact on Russian Society

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Peter Lang, 2007 - Literary Criticism - 229 pages
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The second edition of the Diary of a Writer (1876-1877) marked a crucial point in Dostoevskii's literary career. In spite of critics' attacks, many ordinary readers were overwhelmed by Dostoevskii's charisma and began writing to him from different parts of Russia, expressing their views of the moral, social and political issues dealt with in the Diary. Such success was guaranteed also by the original rhetorical style of the Diary of a Writer, which aimed to involve readers and persuade them to share Dostoevskii's beliefs. By concentrating on new material, consisting of correspondence between Dostoevskii and his readers, and applying a new methodology, reader-response criticism and genre studies, the author investigates how Dostoevskii's rhetoric in the Diary of a Writer affected the Russian reading public, transformed Dostoevskii's image in Russian society, and reawakened national identity.
 

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Contents

Prologue
11
The Diary of a Writer Author Genre and Reader
43
Part Two The Reactions of Russian Society
81
The Diary of a Writers Success
95
Introductory Notes on Readers Letters
109
Dostoevskiis Omnipotence
129
Looking for the Right Interlocutors
147
The Moment to Say the Last Word
169
The Extreme Paradox the Jewish Question
191
Epilogue
215
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

The Author: Raffaella Vassena holds a doctorate in Russian literature from the Universit degli Studi of Milan. From the same university she received a grant (2004-2006) for research in the United States, at Harvard University. She has taught courses of Russian language at the Universit degli Studi and the Universit Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan. She has published several articles in Italy, Russia, and the United States on 19th-century Russian literature as well as on Soviet studies of poetic declamation.

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