They seized the Jews by their arms and began flinging
them into the water. Pitiful cries rang out on all sides,
but the hardhearted Cossacks only laughed at the sight of
the Jews' legs in slippers and stockings kicking in the air.
—NIKOLAI GOGOL, Taras Bulba
He was really ridiculous, in spite of the horror of his
position. The intense anguish of parting with life, his
daughter, his family, showed itself in the Jew in such
strange and grotesque gesticulations, shrieks, and wiggles
that we all could not help smiling.
—IVAN TURGENEV, “The Jew”
He liked to steam himself into a state of stupefaction,
of unconsciousness; and, every time, when going over
old memories, I happen to recall our prison baths
(which deserve to be remembered), then before me in
the foremost place of the picture appears the face of
the blissfully contented and unforgettable Isay Fomich,
my prison comrade and fellow casemate. God, what a
hilariously funny man he was!
—FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Notes from the House of the Dead
In the fourth chapter (“First Impressions”) of Fyodor Dostoevsky's semiautobiographical novel about his Siberian prison camp experiences, Notes from the House of the Dead (1862), the narrator introduces the reader to a Jew by the name of Isay Fomich Bumshtein, the only Jew in the camp. Isay
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Ridiculous Jew: The Exploitation and Transformation of a Stereotype in Gogol, Turgenev, and Dostoevsky. Contributors: Gary Rosenshield - Author. Publisher: Stanford University Press. Place of publication: Stanford, CA. Publication year: 2008. Page number: 1.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.