' .. .' - 'Litera' - NotaBene.ru
Journal Menu
> Issues > Rubrics > About journal > Authors > About the Journal > Requirements for publication > Editorial collegium > Editorial board > Peer-review process > Policy of publication. Aims & Scope. > Article retraction > Ethics > Online First Pre-Publication > Copyright & Licensing Policy > Digital archiving policy > Open Access Policy > Article Processing Charge > Article Identification Policy > Plagiarism check policy
Journals in science databases
About the Journal

MAIN PAGE > Back to contents
Litera
Reference:

The Parable of the People's Faith and the Motive of the Crusade Fraternization in F.M. Dostoevsky's Novel "The Idiot".

Krinitsyn Aleksandr Borisovich

Doctor of Philology

Associate professor of the Department of the History of Russian Literature, Philological Faculty a Lomonosov Moscow State University

119991, Russia, Moscow region, Moscow, Leninskie Gory str., GSP-1, d. 1, p. 51., room 958

derselbe@list.ru
Other publications by this author
 

 

DOI:

10.25136/2409-8698.2023.10.39061

EDN:

MOIUDJ

Received:

29-10-2022


Published:

06-11-2023


Abstract: The author studied the episode of fraternization by Myshkin and Rogozhin in several aspects: 1) as a specific literary transformation of folks legends about fraternization with Christ 2) both as the central episode of the novels plot and a reference to its final scene 3) ideologically as a spiritual unit between the protagonists and the Russian folk 4) as a symbolic description of internal contradictions of the Russian national character. The episode is closely connected with the preceding talk about belief in God, in whose course Myshkin refusing to directly answer if he believed in God, tells about his meetings with common people and arrives at a conclusion about the chaotic and enigmatic depths of the folks consciousness. This was the only discourse about religious belief in the whole Dostoevskys Pentateuch preceding the Brothers Karamazov which makes Myshkin conclude that religious belief can be obtained from Russian folk as a bearer of religious mission, notwithstanding the dark abyss in his soul. The conclusions based on the analysis lets us rethink and reconstruct Myshkins ideological evolution in the whole novel. The article traces Dostoevskys reliance on folk legends about fraternization with Christ. It is a pioneering research as it points to parallels with the novels final in terms of symbolic gestures, paradoxically completing the rite of exchanging crosses in the second chapter of the novel. Myshkins thoughts are proved in the next episode when Rogozhin attempts to kill Myshkin which would have seemed impossible after the characters exchanged their crosses. Thus the imminent catastrophe outlined in the episode dooms the novels final, yet not in terms of religious belief and the authors dependence on Russian folk.


Keywords:

Dostoevsky, novel The Idiot, christian symbolism, Russian national character, fraternization, folk legends, folklore motifs, prince Myshkin, punishment, psychologism

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Introduction.

The motif of the fraternization of the cross, traditional for epic and folk legends, is extremely rare in realistic European literature of the XIX century. It is all the more unexpected and significant to meet him in the novel "The Idiot", where this plot (the fraternization of Myshkin and Rogozhin) becomes one of the culminating ones, despite the fact that the actual characters from the people are absent in it. Let's try to comment on its philosophical and symbolic meaning.

The Christian custom of "baptizing" dates back to the pagan rituals of fraternization, which consisted in the mixing of blood (blood fraternization) or the exchange of amulets.

In the Christian era, blood fraternization was transformed into "krestovanie" the exchange of crosses, after which the brothers themselves were called "crusaders". It could be either a church ritual of "fraternization" ("adelphopoiesis") performed in the church by a priest, which took place before the XVII century), or a folk one. In this case, attention was also paid to the choice of place, time (most often on the second day after Easter), witnesses of the exchange of crosses, which enhanced the symbolism of the custom, brought it closer to the rite and gave it additional connotations of sacredness and "inviolability" in the minds of the participants. The crusade brotherhood was placed above the blood brotherhood and extended right up to the blood feud for each other [1].

The episode of the crusade fraternization in the novel "Idiot" has repeatedly become the subject of attention of researchers. L. M. Lotman [2, pp. 285-316] indicates Dostoevsky's more than probable acquaintance with the apocrypha "Christ's Brother" from the collection of Afanasyev [3] and with the "Legend of Brotherhood" from the collection edited by N. Kostomarov [4]. In both legends, the hero fraternizes with Christ, who in one case (Kostomarov) is called a prince, in the other (Afanasyev) a beggar. this becomes relevant given the fact that Myshkin is given obvious Christological features. At the same time, Dostoevsky's Myshkin is a prince who once visited the role of a beggar. Afanasyev actually has an exchange of crosses. It is interesting that in this legend, "like a burning heat", the cross hangs on the chest of Christ, who appeared under the guise of a beggar tramp, and in Dostoevsky, the owner of an expensive cross is Rogozhin. In both legends, the brotherhood is not questioned, and help comes from Christ the brother. In any case, Dostoevsky completely reverses the meaning of the legend: Rogozhin immediately attacks Myshkin both as a godbrother and as Christ. And since Myshkin himself goes to Nastasia Filippovna's house after meeting with Rogozhin, provoking the latter, it means that he is ready for the role of victim.

According to T. N. Flegentova, "the cross in this case acts as a sign of the fate of an individual human being (to exchange crosses is to exchange destinies) [5]. Thus, Parthen takes on the soldier's cross. As a result, the prince becomes the owner of the Rogozhinsky cross. And indeed, Nastasya Filippovna almost marries Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin, and Parfenov picks up a knife twice: he attempts the prince's life and finally kills Nastasya Filippovna." Let us not agree with such an interpretation. As our analysis shows, we are not talking about an "exchange of destinies" (otherwise it will turn out that Rogozhin took on the future crime of Myshkin), but about unity, a mystical fusion of two destinies, to which both go, realizing the possible catastrophism of what is happening.

V. V. Borisova, putting forward a statement about the emblematic structure of Dostoevsky's novel "The Idiot", points to such a feature of the writer's artistic point of view, "as the ability to snatch ideologically significant facts from the stream of reality and formalize them in the form of a certain "picture", "instructions" in the spirit of the emblematic tradition, that is, the ability to emblematize visual images" [6, p. 102]. In the joint work of Flegentova and V. V. Palacheva, an emblematic approach to the image of the cross is applied. The researchers focus on the visual image of the cross "tin", "large size", "octagonal, "full Byzantine pattern", matching it with domed crosses and at the same time suggesting that the exchange of crosses should have happened "closer to Pentecost" [7, p. 161]. Both of these statements seem doubtful to us and even lead away from the problematic of the episode: it is impossible to seriously assert that the meaning of selling the cross by a drunken soldier is reduced to his renunciation of the church as a whole (Myshkin himself warns against this). Moreover, the approximate timing of an action for a church holiday cannot be considered a significant motive, since the author himself does not give any exact dates.

In the work of B. Harres, a parallel is drawn between the symbolic meaning of the crosses in the fraternization scene and the cross in the picture imagined by the prince (in response to Adelaide Epanchina's request to give her a plot for the picture), which should depict a condemned man kissing a cross in the hands of a priest before execution. Thus, according to the researcher's observation, the symbol of the cross in the novel acquires connotations not only of sacrificial death, but also of murder and execution [12, p. 110].

The purpose of our research will be to re-analyze this episode and show its key importance for understanding the religious and philosophical meaning of the novel as a whole. In this work we will use primarily historical and poetical and systematic scientific methods.

The dualism of Myshkin and Rogozhin in the novel "The Idiot".

The whole character system of "Idiot" is based on the contrasting parallelism of the main characters Myshkin and Rogozhin. Their antitheticism can be interpreted in different ways: victim and murderer, "meek" and "predatory" types (N. N. Strakhov in his article "War and Peace. The work of Count L. N. Tolstoy" [8] in the second part sets out the concept of Ap. Grigorieva that Russian literature is based on the antinomy of the "predatory" and "docile" types. Under the direct influence of this concept, Dostoevsky created the most important images of the "Pentateuch". For more information, see: [9]. If the prince, with his all-encompassing love-pity, personifies an altruistic spiritual, "heavenly" principle, then Rogozhin, the bearer of "earthly" lovehatred, is an unbridled passion, the embodied ego, the earthly law of the "I", reaching in his all-powerful impulse to crime and self-destruction. (This is evidenced by the consumptive Hippolytus, who notices Rogozhin at a meeting that he, "living the most complete, immediate life," is close to suicide no less than he himself, "who has already counted his days" [10, vol. 8, p. 337]. Subsequently, in a nightmare, at the sight of Rogozhin's laughing ghost, Ippolit intuitively realizes that egoism is a murderous law of nature that is rooted in himself, "taking such mocking, offending forms" [10, vol. 8, p. 341]. The prince's phrase "Parthen, I don't believe!" in this context also receives a symbolic interpretation: the prince does not want to believe that he is also subject to this law).

At the same time, the parallelism and connectedness of the destinies of these two heroes are constantly traced in the plot of the novel: when Myshkin and Rogozhin accidentally meet in the carriage in the first chapter, it turns out that both of them are of the same age, both have just experienced a serious illness and unconsciousness; both are going to St. Petersburg for the first time to receive a million inheritance. Both of them fall in love with Nastasia Filippovna at first sight and are ready to offer her a hand and wealth, while the heroine herself flees both marriages in confusion, considering them impossible and fatal for herself. Further, with visible rivalry, the characters communicate so closely. that they switch to "you". Finally, in the finale, both conspiratorially converge in the room where the murder took place, look outwardly almost accomplices, and, shocked by the horror of what happened, simultaneously go crazy. Thus, the symbolic meetings of the two heroes open and end the novel.

Even Rogozhin's sudden impulses to murder the Prince and Nastasia Filippovna psychologically correspond to the expected, but never predictable seizures of Myshkin. The scene on the hotel stairs, when the knife is carried over Myshkin at the very second of the onset of the seizure, demonstrates this analogy especially clearly. According to the principle of contrasting parallelism, the seizure of one and the murderous impulse of the other are opposed as heaven hell (a second of paradise harmony is the eternity of hell), and as death murder. (by the way, both Myshkin's seizures and Rogozhin's murder attempts are two in the novel).

The mystical dualism of Myshkin and Rogozhin and the contrasting parallelism of the two images can be interpreted, from our point of view, as a symbolic description of the Russian national character with its synthesis of opposite principles: on the one hand, unbridled passion, leading to crime, whatever form it takes (unrestrained, self-forgetful hoarding, or fanatical sectarianism: so, Myshkin says about Rogozhin: "And it occurred to me that if this misfortune had not happened to you, this love would not have happened, so you, perhaps, exactly like your father would have become <...> I would sit alone in this house in silence with my wife, obedient and wordless <...> and only making money in silence and gloomily" [10, vol. 8, p. 178]), on the other hand spiritual nature, aspiration to God, children's direct love for the world and people. This roughly corresponds to how A. Grigoriev described the dualism of the "predatory" and "docile" types in Russian literature.

It is also important that Myshkin Dostoevsky was given autobiographical features: the "sacred disease" epilepsy with the ability to experience the "heavenly enlightenment" of the aura before a seizure, as well as impressions from five minutes of conviction in the inevitability of the death penalty (the pardoned criminal allegedly tells the prince about them), which Dostoevsky himself experienced on the Semenovsky parade ground. Obviously, these are the most important moments of the writer's spiritual experience. Psychologically, Rogozhin also gets closer to the writer: according to the writer's own confession from a letter to A.N. Maikov: "And the worst of all is that my nature is mean and too passionate: I reach the last limit everywhere and in everything, I have crossed the line all my life" [10, vol. 28 I, p. 207]. As a result, we can venture to conclude: in the dualism of these characters, the writer's allegory about his own "broad" character, capable of combining a high spiritual dimension and unrestrained passions, is encrypted.

It should also be noted that in the episode of the exchange of crosses, a real case from the life of F. M. Dostoevsky is reproduced. In 1865, when his main creative work was connected with "Crime and Punishment", he, according to A. G. Dostoevskaya, often went to the vicinity of Sennaya Square in St. Petersburg, where the writer met with the one who sold him a truly existing cross [11, pp.59-60].

Thus, the dualism of Myshkin and Rogozhin can be read both as an allegorical introspection of Dostoevsky's personality, and an essay of the Russian national character.

The scene of the baptism in The Idiot and its symbolic meaning.

The plot center of the second part of The Idiot (and one of the most important climaxes of the whole novel) is the scene of Rogozhin's fraternization with Myshkin with the immediately subsequent attempt by Parthen on the prince.

The situation can, of course, be habitually commented on by Dostoevsky's "paradoxical psychologism" the storm and chaos of feelings in the soul of the unbridled Rogozhin, but this will not bring us closer to understanding its ideological content. Meanwhile, it is in this scene that the image-symbol of "Christ in the Tomb" by G. Holbein is introduced for the first time and the question of the heroes' faith in God is directly raised. At the same time, in the same scene, the final tragic denouement is clearly marked the murder of Nastasia Filippovna. Finally, for the only time in the entire novel, Myshkin and Rogozhin talk about the Russian people. It is the folk theme that turns out to be the key to understanding the scene.

It is important to remember that the prince actually comes to Russia as a foreigner at the beginning of the novel, since he spent his entire adult life in Switzerland (in childhood, before leaving for a Swiss clinic, he was practically unconscious due to frequent seizures) and he is just beginning to get to know Russia and the Russian people. At the same time, he is from an ancient princely family, that is, he is identified with the roots of Russian history.

Rogozhin himself is from the merchant class, preserving the traditions of prePetrine Russia, not affected by the "pseudo-morphosis" of European culture. Although his father went to church, he leaned towards the Old Believers, saying, "what is more correct according to the old faith. Skoptsov also respected very much" [10, vol. 8, p. 173], that is, he was attached to the deep layers of the national worldview. Father Rogozhin's look in the portrait is "suspicious, secretive and mournful" [10, vol. 8, p. 173]. It emphasizes the persistence of greed ("for ten whole rubles I lived in the next world" [10, vol. 8, p. 12], the power of which in Parthen himself is reborn into an all-consuming passion for Nastasia Filippovna. Under the gaze of Rogozhin's burning, hating eyes, Myshkin stares at the portrait of his father then at the painting by G. Holbein, from which "faith can disappear" and meets Rogozhin's direct question: "for a long time I wanted to ask you, do you believe in God or not?" [10, vol. 8, p. 182]. It turns out that Myshkin, who was named "Prince-Christ" several times in the preparatory materials, cannot answer this question unequivocally, and turns the conversation to the popular faith, recalling several recent meetings that add up to one parable, since a general edifying conclusion is derived from them. By a parable here we mean a figurative demonstration and justification of an idea, usually of a philosophical, ethical or psychological nature. The structure of the parable is twofold and consists, firstly, of a plot from everyday life understandable to the listener and, secondly, of its philosophical interpretation, the formulation of the idea derived from it, which is thus proved not logically, but by translation into another plane of being based on the personal life experience of the listeners. The last parable differs from the fable, where the plot is not realistic. The plots of the prince's story are introduced in pairs, contrasting with each other.

The meaning of comparing the first two plots (about an atheist scientist and about a peasant who stabbed his comrade for hours, after crossing himself and asking God for forgiveness) is explained from Rogozhin's remark: "One does not believe in God at all, and the other believes so much that he even cuts through prayer... No, you can't invent that, Brother Prince! No, this is the best!" [10, vol. 8, p. 182]. That is, such darkness can be hidden in the soul of the people that faith is perverted to the opposite and becomes worse than any atheism.

The next pair combines the prince's meetings with a soldier drinking his cross (tin, passed off as silver), and with a "simple woman", the mother of a baby, whose faith is so deep and organic, which is expressed again in a parable, purely evangelical in type: "... just like mother's joy happens, when she notices the first smile from her baby, God's joy is exactly the same when he sees from heaven that a sinner in front of him becomes a prayer from the bottom of his heart." These two plots are connected together by the prince's statement: "Who knows, maybe this woman was the wife of the same soldier" [10, vol. 8, pp. 183-184].

And only after all the stories Myshkin concludes: "Here is my answer: the essence of religious feeling is beyond any reasoning... This doesn't fit... but the main thing is that most likely you will notice it in the Russian heart, and here is my conclusion!.. There is something to do in our Russian world, believe me!" [10, vol. 8, p. 184]. It turns out that for Myshkin, the Russian people are a mysterious quantity, like a deep well, in which both the terrible and the divine are paradoxically hidden, growing despite the darkness of evil and treacherous weakness. It is to the people that Myshkin is ready to go after God, unable to find him on his own.

This is the only discussion about faith in the entire "Pentateuch" of Dostoevsky before the novel "The Brothers Karamazov", and therefore deserves the closest consideration.

Note that in addition to the steam room in the parable, gradational organization can be traced: from plot to plot, the affirmation of faith is stronger and stronger. If in the first two the question of faith is resolved negatively (it is not by chance that Rogozhin gloomily rejoices for both), then in the third there is already hope: Myshkin does not want to condemn the drunken soldier, the possible husband of the baba-mother from the next episode. And finally, the last example the testimony of the unclouded folk faith ends the parable on a joyful note: inside the psychological parable, in its center, another one is born the gospel one (about God rejoicing in the repentance of a sinner). Thus, from the internal organization of the parable alone, the philosophical views of Myshkin, and with him the writer himself. The organic necessity of presenting plots to explain the idea of the hero is also clear: without them, his "answer" blurs to uncertainty. After telling the parable, the prince avoided Rogozhin's direct question whether he believed in God, and began talking about the people. It turns out that he does not believe in God, but in the people and the popular faith. Shatov gives exactly the same answer to a similar question in "Demons" to Stavrogin [10, vol. 7, p. 268].

The significance of this parable increases even more from the fact that later Dostoevsky enlarges its images, introducing them as full-fledged heroes in his other novels, in particular "Demons": an atheist scientist there is embodied in the image of Stepan Verkhovensky; a peasant cutting at prayer turns into Fedka Convict, who, before robbing the church and killing the watchman, "I came to pray first"; the image of a Lame woman is similar to a believing woman. As for the drunken soldier "Christ-seller", then this type already had a more complete embodiment in the previous novel: this is Marmalade, the words also apply to it: "God knows what lies in these drunken and weak hearts" [10, vol. 8, p. 183].

The prince's parable stories about the incomprehensibility of the people's faith are also projected onto the images of the two main characters: a peasant cutting at prayer obviously correlates with Rogozhin (Recall Rogozhin's violent reaction to this particular story: "He laughed as if he was in some kind of seizure. <...> - That's what I love! No, that's the best! he shouted convulsively, almost choking..." [10, vol. 8, p. 183], as well as his final remark when saying goodbye to the prince: "I bet! Even though I took your cross, I won't kill you for hours!" [10, vol. 8, p. 185]), and a soldier with a "drunk and weak heart" with a meek Myshkin (the motif of a "weak heart" was very important in his early work and belonged to the central characters with an obviously autobiographical background) thus, these two images represent the "predatory" and "docile" types in the common people. The acceptance of the cross by Myshkin from a soldier, and then the exchange of crosses with Rogozhin means an allegory of the unity of both of them with the Russian common people, the dichotomy of whose nature, as we have already written above, they themselves embody.

By putting on the cross, the prince connects symbolically with the Russian people in their "God-bearing". At the same time, realizing the contradictions of the Russian nature, the prince is ready to share his path with him, despite all the temptations and falls.

It is important that it is after this that fraternization with Rogozhin becomes possible, since before that there was no cross on the prince at all.

Rogozhin's reaction is remarkable. After the prince's words about faith and "Russian light", Parthen unexpectedly detains the prince on the threshold and offers to exchange crosses.

He turned and walked down the stairs.

Lev Nikolaevich! Parfen shouted from above, when the prince reached the first running platform, "the crossfrom, what did you buy from a soldier, with you?"

Yes, on me. And the prince stopped again.

Show me here.

Another new oddity! He thought about it, went upstairs and showed him his cross without removing it from his neck.

Give it to me, Rogozhin said.

Why? Don't you...

The Prince would not like to part with this cross.

I'll wear it, and I'll take mine off for you, you wear it.

Do you want to exchange crosses? If you please, Parthen, if so, I'm glad; let's fraternize! (8; 184).

At the same time, the prince notes that "the former distrust, the former bitter and almost mocking smile still did not seem to leave the face of his sworn brother" (8; 184), which makes fraternization itself strange and unnatural.

At the same time, Rogozhin approaches him with all determination and seriousness and leads Myshkin to his old mother, who has fallen into unconsciousness, and asks her to bless the prince as her own son, which she does, smiling affectionately at the prince, although she "did not understand the words" of Rogozhin: it means "she wished to bless herself" [10, vol. 8, p. 185].

The blessing of Rogozhin's mother gives the "fraternization" features of a folk rite.

Saying goodbye again, the prince offers to hug. Rogozhin initially turns away and drops a strange phrase: "I suppose, even though I took your cross, I won't kill you for hours!" [10, vol. 8, p. 185], (obviously he was thinking about murdering Myshkin all day, then this remark indicates that he directly identifies himself with a drunken soldier, and with the murderer "by prayer" from the parable.

"But suddenly his whole face was transformed: he turned terribly pale, his lips trembled, his eyes lit up. He raised his arms, hugged the prince tightly and, gasping, said:

So take her, if fate! Yours! I concede!.. Remember Rogozhin!

And, abandoning the prince, without looking at him, hurriedly entered his room and slammed the door behind him" (10; 185-186).

Thus, fraternization stretches over time and breaks up into several episodes.

An hour after Myshkin goes to Nastasia Filippovna's house, Rogozhin will rush at him with a knife, and the prince will be saved only by a sudden fall in a fit.

Thus, Rogozhin himself is experiencing such a difficult relationship with Myshkin not only because he is jealous of Nastasya Filippovna, but also because he is torn between faith and disbelief. He chooses between the popular, "soil" faith of his ancestors and a more spontaneous, desperate rebellion against Christ. Here is the connection of the episode with folk legends about fraternization with Christ.According to the exact remark of K. Mochulsky, "Rogozhin has lost faith, and fate leads him to homicide; he resists:wants to believe and can't.The killer is not only the executioner, but also the victim: it burns on its own fire. God and the devil are fighting for his soul; exchanging crosses with the prince, he swings a knife at him" [13, p. 399].

Subsequently, at a new meeting with Rogozhin, Myshkin puts forward a similar version of such a strange fraternization:

I had a premonition then in the morning, looking at you; do you know what you were like then? As the crosses changed, then, maybe, this thought stirred in me. Why did you take me to the old lady then? Did you think to restrain your hand with this? And it can't be that he thought, but only felt like that, just like me... We felt it then in one word. If you had not raised your hand against me then (which God had taken away), what would I have turned out to be before you now? After all, I suspected you of it anyway, one of our sins, in one word! (Don't wince! Well, what are you laughing at?). "Did not repent"! And even if I wanted to, maybe I wouldn't be able to repent, because you don't love me in addition. And if I were as innocent as an angel before you, you still won't tolerate me, as long as you think that she loves me, not you. [10, vol. 8, p. 303].

In view of Myshkin's insight repeatedly declared by the author, we can trust his analysis. Accordingly, Rogozhin fraternizes with someone he wants to kill, tormented by love-hate. Myshkin, understanding his feelings, still considers himself his godbrother and is ready to share with him even the sin of a terrible thought, since he suspected and did not prevent it ("one of our sins, in one word!"). This serves as a direct indication for the final, where both will appear as accomplices in the murder of Nastasia Filippovna. The gesture of Rogozhin's forgetful mother will find in the finale a similarity in the gesture of the prince, when he soothingly pats the head of the restless murderer Parthen, no longer understanding anything and recognizing no one.

Conclusions.

Thus, Rogozhin turns out to be motivically connected with the heroes of all four stories: he compares himself with a murderer and a drunken soldier, when contemplating Holbein's painting, he risks losing faith as an atheist scientist, accepts a mother's blessing, like a baby from the last plot. By the way, his name Parthen means "virgin" in Greek, which additionally indicates the childishness lurking in the depths of his nature.

The prince's thoughts about the mysterious randomness and depth of the people's religious consciousness are immediately confirmed in the subsequent episode of Rogozhin's attempt on Myshkin, seemingly impossible after the sacral "krestovanie". Thus, the inevitable catastrophe of the characters' relations outlined in this episode predetermines the hopelessness of the novel's finale, which, however, does not concern the author's search for faith and hope for the people.

The fraternization of the Cross turns out to be as paradoxical and "impossible" in psychological content as the contrasting parallelism of the characters and as contradictory as the collective image of the Russian people emerging from the parable narrated by the prince.

References
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.

First Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

The article submitted for consideration "The Parable of the Folk Faith and the motive of the Crusade fraternization in F.M. Dostoevsky's novel "The Idiot", proposed for publication in the magazine "Litera", is undoubtedly relevant, due to the consideration of the peculiarities of the realization of folk beliefs in F. M. Dostoevsky's novels. In addition, as the author notes, the motif of the brotherhood of the cross, traditional for the epic and folk legends, is extremely rare in realistic European literature of the XIX century, which emphasizes the relevance of the study. The article is groundbreaking, one of the first in Russian philology devoted to the study of such topics in the 21st century. However, certain structural and substantive requirements are imposed on any scientific work, and the submitted material must be easily verified. Any scientific work is based on the available scientific knowledge and is designed to "shed light" on the isolated scientific lacuna. The introduction, which traditionally provides an overview of points of view and scientific theories, does not provide information about the development of the issue in literary studies. From the introductory part, the goals and objectives that the author set for himself are unclear, which makes it difficult to compare the results of the study with the initial tasks. In the conclusions of the study, for some reason, there is a link to the source 1. The conclusions cannot be quoting other sources, this is the quintessence of the work, the new knowledge gained. The methodology of the study is unclear, and there is also no indication of the volume of the language corpus selected for the experiment. Unfortunately, the author does not provide information about the case under study. The scope and principles of sampling the linguistic material on which the study is based are also unclear. Specific sources of illustrative material are also not presented in the bibliographic list (30 volumes of Dostoevsky's collection are indicated - was the author processed for the entire text corpus? Then how and by what methods was the data array processed?). The course of the study is not described. The text of the article looks more like a subjective narrative than a scientific work. The bibliography of the article contains 8 sources, among which works are exclusively in Russian. The lack of foreign publications artificially limits the submitted work. Note that some of the works are reference sources, not fundamental scientific works. Unfortunately, the article does not contain references to fundamental works such as monographs, PhD and doctoral dissertations. In general, it should be noted that the article is written in a simple, understandable language for the reader. Typos, spelling and syntactic errors, inaccuracies in the text of the work were not found. The practical significance of the research lies in the possibility of using its results in the process of teaching university courses in literary theory and Russian philology. The article will undoubtedly be useful to a wide range of people, philologists, undergraduates and graduate students of specialized universities. The article "The Parable of the People's Faith and the motive of the Crusade fraternization in F.M. Dostoevsky's novel "The Idiot" can be recommended for publication in a scientific journal after revision, namely, strengthening the scientific component of the study - specifying the tasks, defining the research methodology and describing the corpus material, fixing the progress of the study, sufficient to verify the results.

Second Peer Review

Peer reviewers' evaluations remain confidential and are not disclosed to the public. Only external reviews, authorized for publication by the article's author(s), are made public. Typically, these final reviews are conducted after the manuscript's revision. Adhering to our double-blind review policy, the reviewer's identity is kept confidential.
The list of publisher reviewers can be found here.

F.M. Dostoevsky's novel "The Idiot" is perhaps the most frequently analyzed text in the last two or three years. Probably, the model of the so-called "positively beautiful person", which was formed by the classic writer, worries with its effective nature, does not make it possible to unravel such an interesting factor in the realization of an artistic idea. Therefore, the appeal to the novel is quite justified, especially since the author of the reviewed article concerns the reception of one of the key places in the text the godfathering of Myshkin and Rogozhin. The work is quite organic, the main parts of the study are sustained within the limits of scientific research. The language of the work correlates with the scientific type: for example, this is manifested in the following fragments "at the same time, the parallelism and coherence of the destinies of these two characters are constantly traced in the plot of the novel: when Myshkin and Rogozhin accidentally meet in the carriage in the first chapter, it turns out that both of them are the same age, both have just experienced a serious illness and unconsciousness; both are going to St. Petersburg for the first time to receive a million inheritance. Both fall in love with Nastasia Filippovna at first sight and are ready to offer her a hand and wealth, while the heroine herself flees both marriages in confusion, considering them impossible and fatal for herself," or "it also seems important that Dostoevsky gave Myshkin autobiographical features: the "sacred disease" epilepsy with the ability to experience the "heavenly enlightenment" of the aura before a seizure, as well as impressions from five minutes of conviction of the inevitability of the death penalty (the pardoned criminal allegedly tells the prince about them), which Dostoevsky himself experienced on the Semenovsky parade ground. Obviously, these are the most important moments of the writer's spiritual experience. Rogozhin is also psychologically approaching the writer...", or "note that in addition to the steam room, the gradation organization is traced in the parable: from plot to plot, the affirmation of faith is becoming stronger. If in the first two the question of faith is resolved negatively (it is no coincidence that Rogozhin gloomily rejoices at both), then in the third there is already hope: Myshkin does not want to condemn the drunken soldier, the possible husband of the baba-mother from the next episode. And finally, the last example the testimony of the unclouded popular faith ends the parable on a joyful note: inside the psychological parable, in its center, another one arises the gospel one (about God rejoicing in the repentance of a sinner). Thus, from the internal organization of the parable alone, the philosophical views of Myshkin, and with him the writer himself. The organic necessity of presenting plots to explain the idea of the hero is also clear: without them, his "answer" blurs to uncertainty," etc. The purpose of the work is spelled out quite specifically, the author argues that "the purpose of our research will be to re-analyze this episode and show its key importance for understanding the religious and philosophical meaning of the novel as a whole. In our work, we will use, first of all, historical-poetical and systematic scientific methods." I think that the methodological base has also been verified and clarified. The objectivity of judgments in the course of analyzing F.M. Dostoevsky's novel does not cause serious complaints, since the necessary reference level has been implemented. The author comes to the following conclusions at the end of the article: "Rogozhin turns out to be motivically connected with the heroes of all four stories: he compares himself with a murderer and a drunken soldier, when contemplating Holbein's painting, he risks losing faith, like an atheist scientist, accepts a mother's blessing, like a baby from the last plot. By the way, his name Parthen means "virgin" in Greek, which additionally indicates the childishness lurking in the depths of his nature," "the inevitable catastrophe of the characters' relationship outlined in this episode determines the hopelessness of the novel's finale, which, however, does not concern the author's search for faith and hope for the people. Godfathering turns out to be as paradoxical and "impossible" in psychological content as the contrasting parallelism of the characters and as contradictory as the collective image of the Russian people emerging from the parable narrated by the prince." I think that the conclusion is consistent with the main block, however, other variations of interpretations can be made in new studies. The dynamics of semantic intentions, one way or another, is set and prescribed. The basic requirements of the publication are taken into account, no serious edits are required, but there are a number of points that should still be corrected, for example, "Here", "Today", "so much" ... In general, the text of the article is practical, the goal has been achieved, the version of reading the "parable" is objectified. I recommend the article "The Parable of the People's Faith and the motive of the Crusade fraternization in F.M. Dostoevsky's novel "The Idiot" for publication in the magazine "Litera".
Link to this article

You can simply select and copy link from below text field.


Other our sites:
Official Website of NOTA BENE / Aurora Group s.r.o.