All posts tagged The Crocodile

The Crocodile: a Preface

Regular readers will know that The Crocodile is one of my favourite works by Dostoevsky, because of its connections to the Crystal Palace as well as its humour. But it was only a couple of weeks ago, while I was preparing a class on the story, that I got round to reading the fake “Editorial […]

Crystal Palace (F. C.): Chernyshevsky’s barmy army

This piece first appeared on the SSEES Research Blog on 30 May 2013. When one thinks of Russian connections to English football, it is most likely the owners and shareholders of certain premier league clubs that will to spring to mind, or the small number of Russians who have played for English clubs, including Roman […]

Top ten undead in Russian literature

“The dead are people too.” Andrei Platonov, The Foundation Pit Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the influence on nineteenth-century Russian literature of romantic and gothic sensibilities, and of fantastic writers from ETA Hoffmann to Edgar Allan Poe, the notion of the undead plays a significant role for some of the most prominent Russian writers. Encompassing not only […]

Top Ten Animals in Russian Literature

As I have suggested previously, animals have a significant place in Russian literature, and I think this is quite unusual, probably reflecting the greater proximity of Russia literature to its folklore roots than is the case with other literary cultures. Although obviously children’s stories in English (as in other languages), are full of animal characters, […]

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 […]

Dostoevsky: not so grim?

The recent stories about the murals at the new Dostoevsky metro station in Moscow, which have led to concerns that it could become a favourite spot for suicides, have made me think about why Dostoevsky is considered such a depressing writer. Is it because he depicts so much poverty and misery? I doubt it, because […]

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 […]