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SOURCE:    Philology. Theory & Practice. Tambov: Gramota, 2023. № 11. P. 3867-3872.
SCIENTIFIC AREA:    Philological Sciences
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Objects as manifestations of the sacred and the demonic in Dostoevsky’s works

Kovalevskaya Tatyana Vyacheslavovna
Russian State University for the Humanities

Submitted: 05.10.2023
Abstract. The aim of the research is to explicate the specific features of the sacred and the demonic manifesting in objects in a number of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s works and determine the dominant mode of such manifestations thereby providing an explanation of the findings. The novels ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘The Devils’, and ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ are used to demonstrate that the sacred can manifest in images and icons, crosses, incense bags used to carry relics, books, holy objects. The range of objects manifesting the demonic is far narrower; the demonic mostly manifests in books, dangerous items and, when it comes to living creatures, in certain animals. The research is original in that it inaugurates a comparative study of this matter, highlights the importance of the image in manifesting the sacred and shows that the manifestations of the sacred and the demonic in objects are closely linked with Dostoevsky’s key religious and philosophical ideas. Our findings show that objects manifesting the sacred and the demonic differ in the role played by the image/icon understood in the full spectrum of this word’s meanings. The image takes center stage in manifesting the sacral realm and acts as a force of cohesion amidst the humanity, while manifestation in an image is something that is desirable, but never achievable in the realm of the demonic.
Key words and phrases: образ, крест, роман «Бесы», роман «Преступление и наказание», роман «Братья Карамазовы», icon/image, cross, novel ‘The Devils’, novel ‘Crime and Punishment’, novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’
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