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Ludmila Saraskina
State Institute for Art Studies
Federación Rusa
Núm. 16 (2017), 150º aniversario de la publicación de la obra “Crimen y castigo” de Dostoievski, Páginas 364-372
Recibido: dic 15, 2020 Publicado: dic 1, 2017
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Resumen

The paper deals with the problem (traditionally controversial) of Rodion Raskol’nikov’s repentance. Did such repentance take place within the novel? What are the creteria of repentance and its essential features? What actually constitutes the fact of repentance: the ability to fall in love with a woman or the ability to remember those whom one has killed and to mourn them? The paper considers in details the status of a crime’s victim, the Christian and legal aspects of this status. Indeed, a criminal’s attitude towards his/her victim is a kind of litmus test, a universal indicator of the criminal’s state of mind after the criem.
Can we really claim that Dostoevsky has ever made true his intention to write a story about a gradual renovation and rebirth of a person? This paper analyses the manifestations of Raskol’nikov’s phantom repentance which manifestations became evident to the investigator Porfiry Petrovich, as well as to Arkady Svidrigailov.
As Dostoevsky wished to test Raskol’nikov’s ability to really repent, the writer tried to find out (both within the novel itself, as well as beyond its textual borders) the possible amplitude of the psychological «pendulum», that is what are the limits of the oscillation towards good and evil for a character with a criminal consciousness. Dostoevsky persistently investigated the causeless whimsicality of these oscillations.
The second part of the paper discusses the real deeds of those 20th century figures, who were obsessed with the idée fixe «blood in good conscience»  («кровь по совести») and who drifted, in most cases, not towards a personal salvation, but - through the deliberate political permissiveness - towards mass terror. The actual arguments of real criminals (the assassin of P.A.Stolypin, the killers of Nicolas II and his family, etc) are quoted and analysed. A comparison is drawn between Raskol’nikov’s isea of «blood in good conscience», on the one hand, and the motivations of some well-known figures of revolutionary terror in Russia, on the other. Next, the range of the revolutionary terror in early 20th century Russia is considered, as well as the problem of the state terror in the former USSR and today’s arguments about this historical phenomenon.

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