44 Lenin Avenue

A researcher's journey to Siberia

Dostoevsky Conference!

Filed under: Conferences & Presentations,Ignatii Dvernitskii — Wilson Bell at 5:06 am on Saturday, July 30, 2016  Tagged

Just a quick note: thanks to a Twitter conversation with @kab3d, I have the opportunity to present at the conference, “Crime and Punishment at 150,” to be held at UBC in October (preliminary program here).

How does my 44 Lenin Avenue research relate to Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment? Well, see my title and abstract, below:

“A Real-Life Raskolnikov? Crime and Punishment meets crime and punishment in 1909 Tomsk”
On the night of May 8/9, 1909 in the centre of Tomsk, Siberia, two students at the church-teachers’ school strangled their headmaster, the young monk and arch-reactionary Ignatii Dvernitskii. The murder shocked the town, with competing versions of the motives almost immediately offered in the local and even national press. The murder itself–the victim, the perpetrators, the location–quickly brings the interested observer to the themes of conservatism, anti-Semitism, student activism, religion, education, crime, and punishment in the reactionary period after Russia’s 1905 revolution. Curiously, however, one of the big debates at the time related to the influence of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment on one of the perpetrators, a young man by the name of Gerasim Iurinov. Should we consider him a real-life Raskolnikov? Can Dostoevsky’s novel help today’s observer understand the murder of Ignatii Dvernitskii?

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