Introducing Global Dostoevskys

by Melanie Jones and Christina Karakepeli

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s legacy extends far beyond literature. His insights have penetrated into politics[1], philosophy[2], and even the modern sciences[3]. Yet it is his influence in fiction that most endures. In fact, the Russian writer may be “the man more than any other who has created modern prose” (James Joyce). Substantial studies have already been published on Dostoevsky’s influence on movements like English Modernism and his reception by American authors like William Faulkner or Henry Miller. Works inspired by him keep getting published, over a century after his death; proofs of enthusiastic international receptions continue to pop up from almost every corner of the globe. 

In honor of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s 200th anniversary, The Bloggers Karamazov is launching the series “Global Dostoevskys” to celebrate the writer’s enduring popularity. Each post will explore a lesser-known area of influence or unusual patterns of reception to Dostoevsky the man, his personal writings, his overall corpus, or a particular work from his oeuvre. This series will illuminate the lesser-studied ways in which Dostoevsky has been taken up, adapted, and re-imagined by writers around the world. Posts by US-based and international scholars will touch on cultural and geographical areas across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and cover such diverse topics as the aesthetics of political fiction, the ethics of translation, the politics of (re)clamation, and the experimental potential of continuous interpretation. 

“Global Dostoevskys” will run from Winter 2021 through Spring 2022. If you are interested in contributing a post to the ongoing series, please reach out to with a 200-300 word abstract and a brief bio. We are open to non-literary influences as well as literary ones, and are especially interested in lesser-studies areas or authors.  

[1] In addition to his sizable mark on Russian political history and ongoing polemic debates, Dostoevsky inspired the overt political engagement of writers like Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, and Kyle Scott references Dostoevsky’s oeuvre in his argument for literature’s role in modern political theory.

[2] Philosophers notably influenced by the Russian writer include German philosophical polemicist Friedrich Nietzsche and French existentialists Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre.

[3] Albert Einstein claimed “Dostoevsky [gave him] more than any scientist;” Sigmund Freud’s interest in The Brothers Karamazov (documented in articles like “Dostoevsky and Parricide”) may have influenced parts of Civilization and its Discontents.

Dr. Melanie Jones works in Russian and Francophone literature and reception. She specializes in Mad Studies and the Critical Medical Humanities. She received her PhD from UCLA in 2021.

Christina Karakepeli is a PhD student at the University of Exeter writing her dissertation on how individual translators have shaped the Greek reception of Dostoevsky. She has a BA in Greek Language and Linguistics and a ΜΑ in Translation Studies from the University of Athens.

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