Classification – name: Literary studies
Author: Galina V. Fedianova, Tamara P. Batalova
Pages: 155-172
Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
Rights – URL:
Language of the publication: Russian
Type of document: Research Article
Collection: F.M. Dostoevsky in Literary and Archival Sources of the Late 19th — the First Third of the 20th Century
Year of publication: 2021
Place of publication: Moscow


Tamara P. Batalova, Galina V. Fedianova. Discussion about F.M. Dostoevsky’s Novel “Demons” in Russian Criticism of 1918–1935

About the authors:

Tamara P. Batalova, PhD in Philology, Researcher, State Social and Humanitarian University.

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Galina V. Fedianova, PhD in Philology, Researcher, State Social and Humanitarian University.


The authors of the proposed article aimed to consider the discussion of Dostoevsky’s novel “Demons”, which unfolded in the 1920s — 1930s, in two aspects: from the point of view of its significance for the development of literary studies, and on the other hand, to determine its influence on the new Soviet ideology that was developing at that time. To clarify the first side of the General problem, we studied the works of leading literary critics of that time-V.V. Vinogradov, A.S. Dolinin, L.P. Grossman, V.L. Komarovich, B.M. Engelhardt, V.F. Pereverzev, P.N. Medvedev, and others. The influence of Dostoevsky’s novel “Demons” on the ideology of that time is evidenced by the works of N.A. Berdyaev, Yu.I.Aichenwald, S.S. Borschevsky, the materials of the journal“VestnikLiteratura”, the discussion about Dostoevsky, which gradually manifested itself at the First all-Union Congress of Soviet writers, resulting in the prohibition of a separate publication of the novel “Demons”. The research has shown that works about Dostoevsky of the 1920s — 1930s and, above all, about the novel “Demons”, such as the discussion of the first published Chapter “at Tikhon’s”, are of great importance in the development of dostoevistics. On the other hand, the discussion of the novel “Demons”, especially in the 1930s, became a discussion with a new ideology that contradicts the objective discussion of Dostoevsky’s work. Overcoming this situation has only been possible since the late 1980s.

Keywords: Dostoevsky, Gorky, the First all-Union Congress of Soviet writers, Pravda, LiteraturnayaGazeta, discussion, the novel “Demons”, hero, image.