Writer and Eyewitness (Reception of Dostoevsky’s “The House of the Dead” in Literature on Hard Labor and Gulag)Guzaevskaya Svetlana, Rodin Kirill
The article presents an analysis of the narrative strategy used by F.M. Dostoevsky in The House of the Dead. The presence in the text of the diegetic narraror and the readers' lack of awareness of the realities of hard labor allowed Dostoevsky to create an artistic world that is perceived by the readers as “real”. It is shown that this method was deliberately used by the writer for the “censorship” of the text and the preservation of the distance from the material. The incompetence of the narrator justified the apparent compositional disorder of the text (Goryanchikov is not a professional writer), the subjectivity of his assessment and the lack of understanding of what is happening in hard labor. The text that compares the world of penal servitude, described in The House of the Dead with the real one, is Sakhalin (Katorga) by V. Doroshevich (first publication - 1903). Doroshevich and the heroes of his story, convicts, relate their experience with the experience presented by Dostoevsky. The sequential confusion in readers’ minds of the narrator (Goryanchikov) and Dostoevsky's personality created an indicative figure – “writer in penal servitude” – and gave impetus to the emergence of many imitators, especially from among intellectuals who found themselves in penal servitude. The literary-centric culture of the 20th century allowed Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to continue using the strategy of the “writer”; having subdued stories told by the victims of Stalinist repression to the author's intention and deprived them of the individual assessments. The article shows that the Shalamov's witness strategy contrasted precisely with this tradition originating in the false perception from the narrative strategy used by Dostoevsky in The House of the Dead.