All posts tagged Chernyshevsky

Russians in London: Dostoevsky

Dostoevsky left St Petersburg for his first trip to Europe on 7th June 1862. He spent most of his time in France and Italy, but also visited London for 8 days – his only trip to Britain – arriving on 9th July (Dryzhakov, p. 328). Like many other writers, one of his chief aims was […]

Russians in London: Alexander Herzen, with a note on Nikolai Ogarev

When researching the history of Russians in London, Alexander Herzen presents a considerable problem. He is without doubt the most significant of all the writers and activists who visited London in the nineteenth century, not only because he settled in the capital for some years (1852-64), but also because many of his compatriots — Turgenev, […]

Russians in London: Introduction

Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing a series of posts entitled ‘Russians in London’. The project came to mind when I was researching Dostoevsky and the Crystal Palace earlier this year. I started thinking about his description of Whitechapel and the Haymarket in Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, and imagined him haunting […]

Chto delat? at the ICA

Chto delat? (What is to be Done?) is a collective of artists, theorists and political activists from Moscow, Petersburg and Novgorod, formed in 2003. In general I’m more au fait with their political work, via their Russian blog, where I’ve been reading intermittently about the activities and persecution (both official and unofficial) of anti-fascist, ecological and […]

One year old today: where do I go from here?

Today is the first anniversary of my blog, and I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve done so far and what I’m planning to do in the coming months. I’ve made a couple of discoveries over the last year. I’ve realized that cats, the Crystal Palace, and Merthyr Tydfil all attract a more readers than Russian […]

Re-reading Crime and Punishment: mis-naming

My recent posts collating contents pages of Russian journals do not, I will admit, make for very exciting reading. They do have a purpose, though, and are going to be appearing for some time. But I do want to continue writing on other subjects, partly so as not to alienate all my readers, and partly […]

The Crocodile and the Crystal Palace: a whimsy

Some of the best ideas are destined never to make it into print. They’re usually the ‘wouldn’t it be great if…’ ideas, that you know probably aren’t true, and even if they are, there’s no way you’re ever going to prove them. At the same time you don’t want to let them go altogether. And […]

The Crystal Palace in Russian Literature (2)

I think the general assumption is that Chernyshevsky’s use of the Crystal Palace as the basis for his utopian vision riled Dostoevsky so much that he then included in the polemic against rational egoism in Notes from Underground (Russian text here). But by the time What is to be Done? was published, Dostoevsky had already visited […]

The Crystal Palace in Russian Literature (1)

At my next conference, the 14th International Dostoevsky Symposium, in Napoli this June (volcanic ash cloud permitting), I’ll be presenting a paper on Dostoevsky and the Crystal Palace. It’s a subject that has obviously been examined before, usually in relation to the narrator’s comments in Notes from Underground, but I’ve decided to tackle it partly because my […]