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Ascetism and Incontinence and Dostoevsky’s Gift of Tears

  • Carol Apollonio

In Dostoevsky’s binary poetics, an opposition can be drawn between two fundamental stances – asceticism and incontinence. Ascetics adhere to an ethos of self-restraint in response to the desires of the flesh. Incontinents act spontaneously to gratify their desires. The current study draws an analogy between the behavior pattern of Dostoevsky’s self-denying intellectual heroes and that of exiled castrate (skoptsy) communities. Dostoevsky’s ascetics represent a cerebral mindset attracted to visions of social utopia; their intellectualizing detaches them from the life of the body and thus weirdly parallels the strictures of the skoptsy. An encounter between an ascetic and a prostitute serves as a central plot moment in works such as Crime and Punishment and Notes from Underground.

  • Keywords:
  • Dostoevsky,
  • ascetism,
  • sectarianism,
  • castrates,
  • drunkenness,
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Carol Apollonio

Duke University, United States

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  9. Nietzsche, Friedrich. (1887) 1989. On the Genealogy of Morals, and Ecce Homo, tr. from German by Walter Kaufmann and Reginal J. Hollingdale, ed. by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage.
  10. Plato 1992. Republic, tr. fron Greek by Georges M.A. Grube. Indianapolis: Hackett.
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  12. Бычков, Александр. 1902. Очерки якутской области, т. 2: Скопцы в ссылке. Иркутск: Макушин.
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  14. Повесть о бражнике. 1969. В кн. Изборник (Сборник произведений литературы древней Руси), под ред. Александра М. Панченко, 594-96, 779-80. Москва: Художественная литература, https://www.gumer.info/bibliotek_Buks/Fiction/drevneruss/brajn.php (03.03.2023).
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Ascetism and Incontinence and Dostoevsky’s Gift of Tears

Authors

Carol Apollonio

Language

Russian

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0122-3.08

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2023

Copyright Information

© 2023 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Ф.М. Достоевский: Юмор, парадоксальность, демонтаж

Editors

Dar'ja Farafonova, Laura Salmon, Stefano Aloe

Peer Reviewed

Number of Pages

222

Publication Year

2023

Copyright Information

© 2023 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/979-12-215-0122-3

ISBN Print

979-12-215-0121-6

eISBN (pdf)

979-12-215-0122-3

eISBN (epub)

979-12-215-0123-0

Series Title

Biblioteca di Studi Slavistici

Series ISSN

2612-7687

Series E-ISSN

2612-7679

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