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Katalin Kroó
Eötvös Loránd University
Núm. 16 (2017), 150º aniversario de la publicación de la obra “Crimen y castigo” de Dostoievski, Páginas 343-354
Recibido: dic 15, 2020 Publicado: dic 1, 2017
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The paper examines Notes from Underground by Dostoevsky continuing the discussion of the problem of character type already raised in previous works by the author of this presentation, relating to the explanation of nihilism as a typical semantic construct in 19th-century Russian literature. Within this framework the character typology is approached in the light of its definition in terms of the linguistic formulation of the idea of nihilism through motifs representing Russian cultural universals, such as boredom, deed [delo], etc. This kind of reading makes it possible to interpret the philosophical, psychological, moral sides of the questions treated by the underground man by revealing the semantic dynamics of the systematic combination of motifs of negation and affirmation (for the collective motif invariant with its variants see all–nothing [vsjo–nichego]). The analysis looks at the semantic doubling of the crucial motifs of Dostoevsky’s work (word [slovo], deed [delo], directness [neposredstvennost’]) in certain lexical units and syntactic compositions, underlying their semantic cohesion with the characterisation of the protagonist’s verbal behaviour (cf. the implicit metaphor of the behavioural word) and the poetic conceptualisation of time (the beginning and the end with the metaphorisation of time in the sense of the extremes). The creative consciousness of the underground man out of his world- and self-interpretation in static dichotomies and polarly contrasted pairs creates a process, the development of which in the course of writing his notes – and then the Notes… – systematically relies on reciprocally inclusive semantic poles. At the same time, the relationship between the temporal point and process is semantically reevaluated in the dynamics of semiotic evolution of motifs and their textual arrangement into semantic patterns reinterpreting the idea of nihilism. In this way the relationship between the semantisations of the protagonist’s pre-underground, underground and post-underground periods are revealed, leading to the understanding of the semantic transformation of the idea of deed / to do (delo /delat’) into that of the process of being done (delat’sja) as related to the personality in terms of the semiotics of text-creation and the work of the creative subject.


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