Unexpected turns in my Dostoevsky studies

My most recent publication is an article on Dostoevsky’s early works, ‘Hesitation, projection and desire: the fictionalizing ‘as if…’ in Dostoevskii’s early works‘, in Modern Languages Open which, as the name suggests, is an open access journal, so the article is available freely to download. MLO is a terrific journal published by Liverpool University Press, […]

Talking Crime and Punishment

This site has been somewhat dormant of late, but a radio appearance has inspired me to make a brief return (news on other stuff to follow). Today I appeared on BBC Radio 4’s programme In Our Time, and had great fun discussing Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment with old friends Sarah Hudspith from the University of […]

Revolutionary Dostoevsky

How might we think of Dostoevsky as a radical writer? In his later years he certainly seemed anything but. From his searing critique of nihilist ideas in Notes from Underground and Crime and Punishment, and his scathing portrayal of revolutionaries in Demons, to his increasingly virulent Orthodox nationalism and support for the authoritarian Tsarist regime […]

Assessing sources: Russian criminal tattoos

I’m currently working on a book chapter  about the body in labour camp narratives. This was actually pretty much the starting point for my current research, so I’m in part revisiting an article published in Gulag Studies in 2008 on the Gulag body and self-mutilation. More recently, I’ve been thinking about the representation of different […]

Gulag narratives: a bibliography and metadata project (version 1)

Some years ago, when this blog was a new venture, I started an annotated reading list of Russian and Soviet labour camp narratives. My aim initially was to expand it over time, but as one so often finds, there never is time, and it has lain neglected for several years now, despite fairly regular comments […]

Raskolnikov on Twitter

For the last few days on Twitter @RodionTweets has been tweeting Crime and Punishment in real time from Raskolnikov’s perspective. A collaborative project developed by a group of North-American and British colleagues, we have each been responsible for turning one part of the novel into tweets. As my contribution for Part II begins, I repost here […]

Reading Gulag propaganda

As regular readers will know, I am currently working on a book manuscript on the Russian tradition of prison and exile writing, from the tsarist era to the present day. This is a subject that generally focuses, with good reason, on the victims’ perspective, and many people will disagree with the idea of including Stalinist […]

Historical memory of the Gulag (3): Contested memory

The failure to establish a central memorial to the victims of the Gulag mentioned in my previous post is part of a problem of contested memory that has been apparent since the demise of the Soviet Union but has escalated in the last decade or so. As Arseny Roginsky’s eloquent essay The Embrace of Stalinism shows, […]

Historical memory of the Gulag (2): Memorials, maps and other memory projects

Since the final years of the Soviet Union, memorializing the victims of the political repressions – in itself a curious formulation that indicates some of the problems associated with this subject – has remained a significant and, to a large extent, unresolved question. Historical memory projects can obviously have all sorts of different aims: the […]

Historical memory of the Gulag (1): Memory books

I’ve been thinking about historical memory of the Gulag and the Stalinist repressions recently whilst working on my book, and have decided to put together a few posts of links relating to the subject. This is partly from my own need to organize the material coherently, and partly because an up-to-date list would, I hope, […]