Journal Article

Bearing and Sharing All: A Study of the Confessional Moment in Dostoevsky's Life and Fiction

Russell Hillier

in Literature and Theology

Volume 18, issue 4, pages 442-463
Published in print December 2004 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online December 2004 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/18.4.442
Bearing and Sharing All: A Study of the Confessional Moment in Dostoevsky's Life and Fiction

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Challenging deconstructive approaches to Dostoevsky's works, the article locates a still-point or higher realism amidst the polyphony of competing voices in the ‘confessional moment’. It argues that his fiction is formed in the crucible of a religious consciousness, and that Dostoevsky's primary debts are to Orthodox culture, in particular, in direct relation to the theologically rich sacrament of confession. Enlisting and reappraising the theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and Vyacheslav Ivanov, and also of Dostoevsky's disciple, Vladimir Solovyov, the article establishes the structural presence of a trialogue between confessor, penitent and the scripturally warranted Word or ‘Other’. It then goes on to explore one such ‘confessional moment’.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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