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Ivan Esaulov
The Maxim Gorky Literature Institute
Federación Rusa
Núm. 16 (2017), 150º aniversario de la publicación de la obra “Crimen y castigo” de Dostoievski, Páginas 73-81
Recibido: dic 15, 2020 Publicado: nov 30, 2017
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The article is not about “wrong” or, to the contrary, “correct” approaches: explanation, interpretations, understanding are absolutely necessary cognitive acts, without which any adequate study of Dostoyevsky seems impossible. However, these are fundamentally different mindsets that actualize various vectors of researchers’ attention. An explanation of “Crime and Punishment” is impossible without an actual historical, as well as a textological, commentary. This is precisely the area where one may talk about a significant progress in the study of Dostoyevsky’s novel. It is not surprising, since explanation is the closest to the mindset of so-called “natural sciences” (W. Dilthey), with its declared “objectivity” (a mindset for non-subjectivity) as if protecting from the subjective distortions in one’s discipline. At the same time, one or the other interpretation of “Crime and Punishment” are inseparable from historically changing and sometimes drastically diverging – methodologically, culturally, politically, aesthetically – mindsets of interpreters of Dostoyevsky’s text. At times, readers’ “drifting” (R. Barthes) in such a text may result in interesting findings, however, it often leads researchers beyond the limits of adequate readings, which I define as the “spectrum of adequacy”. Finally, the third version of researchers’ “examination” of Dostoyevsky’s novel is a personal understanding of it, in one way or another included within the “spectrum of adequacy”. These mismatching but equally adequate in respect to Dostoyevsky’s intentions acts of researchers’ understanding are impossible without an axiological concord between the understanding mind and the writer’s dominant mindset. While Dostoyevsky predetermines the direction of readers’ receptions, he does not direct each of the reader’s (and therefore, researcher’s) receptions, providing them with a certain freedom of choice, within which they are allowed to make decisions at their discretion.

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