Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time

By Joseph Frank; Mary Petrusewicz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 22

An Aesthetics of Transcendence

It was rare for an issue of Time to appear without one of Dostoevsky's articles or an installment from one of his works in progress, and his presence was also constantly felt in the form of introductions to translations, as well as editorial notes appended to the articles of other contributors. Understandably concerned over the impression that would be created by the first issue of the journal, Dostoevsky rewrote almost entirely an article originally assigned to the poet D. D. Minaev. The result was the feuilleton “Petersburg Visions in Verse and Prose,” a unique mixture of Dostoevsky's prose text with Minaev's verse.

The piece has been recognized as a work of rare autobiographical value, containing a precious account of how Dostoevsky viewed the process of his own literary maturation from the days of his early Romanticism up to his discovery of the theme of his first novel. One immediate aim of the feuilleton was certainly to reintroduce himself to the Russian reading public by this evocative résumé of his literary past, but when he returns to the present, we catch a first glimpse of the changes that are already faintly discernible in his artistic outlook. In the revelatory passage that has come to be known as “the vision on the Neva,” the writer recalls how, at the beginning of his career, he had once walked across a bridge over the Neva during a bitterly cold winter day, looking at the frozen expanse sparkling and gleaming in the rays of the setting sun “so that it seemed as if a new town was taking shape in the air”:

It seemed as if all that world, with all its inhabitants, strong and weak,
with all their habitations, the refuges of the poor, or the gilded palaces for
the comfort of the powerful of this world, was at that twilight hour like a
fantastic vision of fairyland, like a dream which in its turn would vanish
and pass away like vapor in the dark blue sky…. I seemed to have under-
stood something in that minute which had till then been only stirring in
me, but was still uninterpreted…. I suppose that my existence began
from just that minute…. (19: 69)

Dostoevsky attributes an extraordinary importance to this imaginary transformation of the majestic city of Peter the Great into a dissolving phantasmagoria that might have been a waking dream. And this fusion of the fantastic and

-298-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 960

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.