All posts tagged Notes from the House of the Dead

No worse than English prisons…

My work on nineteenth-century narratives about Russian imprisonment and exile has not only led me to read the classics that established the genre, notably Dostoevsky’s House of the Dead and Chekhov’s Sakhalin Island, but has also necessitated ploughing through many less celebrated works by both travellers and former prisoners and exiles. (See my previous post […]

Women in the Gulag

I always welcome new contributions to the study of the Gulag, particularly (because it is a dimension that remains much less explored than the history) those that focus on personal experiences of the Soviet labour camp system and the writings associated with it, so I was looking forward to reading Paul R. Gregory’s Women of […]

New article: Knowing Russia’s Convicts

This week has finally seen the publication of my article ‘Knowing Russia’s Convicts: the Other in Narratives of Imprisonment and Exile in the Late Imperial Era’ in Europe-Asia Studies. It’s a special issue based on the Villains and Victims workshop which I wrote about previously, and it contains some great articles that really reflect what an […]

Russian thought lecture 5: Dostoevsky and the anti-rationalist argument

Reading: Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1864) This week we turn to the main response to the Nihilists’ ideas of rational egoism and social reorganization, in the form of Dostoevsky’s 1864 novel, Notes from Underground. Dostoevsky is the only writer whose fictional texts we are examining in any detail, but I think this is justified in […]

Russian prison experience

Last week I participated in a workshop titled ‘Punishment as a Crime? Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Prison Experience in Russian Culture’, at Uppsala University’s Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies. The programme, which is available here, was notable for its wide range of papers and approaches. The imperial, soviet and post-soviet periods were all covered, and […]

Dostoevsky and the Gulag

I’ve started work on a paper on the depiction of criminals in labour camp writing for a workshop later this summer, and as Dostoevsky is one of my starting points, this has led me to revisit the broader question of the role of recurrent references to him in Gulag literature. This post is not intended […]

Dostoevsky in English

I haven’t posted anything for a while, but having got over pre-Christmas flu, festivities, and catching up with work after both, I am now back in the saddle. I decided to post a list of links to English translations of Dostoevsky’s works, partly because someone suggested it would useful, partly to have an overview what’s […]

Doroshevich on Sakhalin

I had other plans yesterday, but was feeling far too tired and depressed to concentrate on the writing I was supposed to be doing. So, to take my mind off present-day violent criminality at home, I started thinking about violent criminality more than a hundred years ago on the other side of the world… I recently […]

Re-reading Crime and Punishment: the Drunkards

When Dostoevsky first conceived of the work that ultimately became Crime and Punishment, he titled it ‘The Drunkards’, and said that it would deal with ‘the present question of drunkenness … [in] all its ramifications, especially the picture of a family and the bringing up of children in these circumstances’ (letter to A. A. Kraevsky, June […]

Siberian prison and exile: two studies

I’m currently working on revisions to an article on nineteenth-century narratives of prison and exile (see my previous posts on an earlier stage of work on this and on the conference where I presented it), and in the process of completing my reading, two works have stood out in different ways: Sergei Maksimov’s Sibir’ i […]