Classification – name: Literary studies
Pages: 195-209
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


Vadim V. Polonsky. Dostoevsky through Western Optics: the Case of Knut Hamsun and not only

About the author:

Vadim V. Polonsky, Соrresponding Member of RAS, DSc in Philology, RAS professor, Director of the Institute, Head of the Department of the Russian literature (end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th cent.), А.М. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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The article dwells on the main postulates on Dostoevsky at the meeting point for Russian and Western types of reception of his figure, as they were manifested during a discussion devoted to the writer in the Parisian Franco-Russian Studio in December 1929. Against this background, a specific and typologically indicative case of his deep impact on a European writer — Knut Hamsun whom critics could call “the Norwegian Dostoevsky” — is examined. The author analyzes typical cases of adaptation of the techniques of the Russian writer by this Scandinavian novelist, as well as an assessment of his work by the creator of “Hunger” and “Mysteries”.

Keywords: Knut Hamsun, reception, Russian-Scandinavian literary connections.