(MOVED) Donna Tussing Orwin: "The Politics of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky"

  • Date: –14:30
  • Location: Engelska parken – Eng7-0043
  • Organiser: Department of Literature
  • Contact person: Torsten Pettersson
  • Seminarium

Joint Seminar – The Higher Seminar in Literature and the conference “Havoc and Healing: Insights into Human Action in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky”

(NB, postponed to October)

Professor Donna Tussing Orwin, University of Toronto: "The Politics of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky"

Chair: Torsten Pettersson


Presentation
I turn to this topic as post-Soviet Russia remains in a transitional state, without clear principles defining its politics. Arguably, Russia is back to reinventing itself as a modern state, as it has been doing from time to time since Peter the Great. In such a situation, it is useful to look to the past, and especially to other such periods to see what they might teach us about today. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky lived through the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 and they each developed a politics in response to the political turmoil that preceded and followed it. Their political programs – theocracy for Dostoevsky and anarchism for Tolstoy – seem diametrically opposed, but they in fact have certain very important factors in common.  In my talk I will examine their politics in order to bring out these commonalities and possible reasons for them.