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Religions 2019, 10(1), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel10010059

Existentialism, Epiphany, and Polyphony in Dostoevsky’s Post-Siberian Novels

SSEES, University College London, London WC1H 0BW, UK
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 9 January 2019 / Accepted: 11 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenomenological Studies of Religious Life)
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Abstract

Dostoevsky can be meaningfully read as a defender of Russian Orthodoxy; a psychologist; a polemicizing anti-nihilist ideologue; a Schillerian romantic; a Solovyovian believer in love, goodness, and beauty; a prophet. I approach Dostoevsky through a new lens—Dostoevsky as an existential phenomenologist. Although writers such as Kauffman, Camus, and Shestov have cast Dostoevsky as an existentialist, their readings often focus too heavily on the critique of rationalist thinking in Dostoevsky’s The Underground Man and explore Dostoevsky’s existentialism largely in ethical rather than in existential-ontological terms. My interpretation will instead demonstrate that the primary focus of Dostoevsky’s novels is on immanent existential-ontological truths—human life—rather than on transcendental, ideal truth, although the emphasis on the former does not negate the possible existence of the latter. This interpretation will also provide an original route towards a polyphonic reading of Dostoevsky. View Full-Text
Keywords: Dostoevsky; Russian Literature; existentialism; epiphany; polyphony Dostoevsky; Russian Literature; existentialism; epiphany; polyphony
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Siddiqi, B. Existentialism, Epiphany, and Polyphony in Dostoevsky’s Post-Siberian Novels. Religions 2019, 10, 59.

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