Conclusion
THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE, THIS UNRIDDLED SPHINX

On the 19th of February the Petrine period of Russian
history definitively came to an end, so that long ago we
entered into a period of absolute uncertainty.

PSS 23:411


Carmen Horrendum

In the passage from “Bookishness and Literacy” cited at the conclusion of part 2, Dostoevsky identifies the populist discourse and practice of the liberal Russian elite as a prime example of “bookishness” (knizhnost'), an official discourse of power and knowledge. “Literacy” (gramotnost'), in contrast, describes another type of knowledge altogether: unarticulated and unprogrammatic, inseparable from experience and lodged in the flesh and blood, this alternative knowledge underwrites the integrity and vitality of an abject and illiterate culture.2 Uniquely possessed by the illiterate peasantry, “literacy” is the non-text–based cultural logic of genuine Russianness, that which makes the peasant from Taganrog and the one from Petropavlovsk immediately familiar to each other. It is difficult, if not impossible, to apprehend for educated Russians situated outside the common milieu (PSS 4:198/308). In his article, Dostoevsky tries to imagine how these two antithetical forms of knowledge, the elite's bookishness and the people's literacy, might be made to harmonize without sacrificing one or the other. He suggests that the resolution of this epistemological impasse will bring the Russian people into being—not simply “the people as a subset and as fragmentary multiplicity of needy and excluded bodies” but, rather, “the People as a whole and as an integral body politic.” Resolution of the impasse between bookishness and literacy promises to heal what Agamben calls the “fundamental biopolitical fracture” between the “total state of the sovereign and integrated citizens,” on the one hand, and “the wretched, the oppressed, and the vanquished,” on the other. It is thus the sine qua non of real emancipation. But as Agamben points out, insofar as the concept of the people already contains the primal division of bare life and political existence (zoe and bios) characteristic of “the original political structure,” it must always refer paradoxically to “what cannot be included in the whole of which it is a part as well as what cannot belong to the whole in which it is always already included.” The people or narod seem inevitably

-170-

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 ...
Default project is now your active project.
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.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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's Democracy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Building Out the House of the Dead 29
  • Part II - Building Out the House of the Dead 91
  • Conclusion - The Russian People, This Unriddled Sphinx 170
  • Notes 197
  • Bibliography 251
  • Index 263
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
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?

Help
Full screen
/ 275

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.