Autobiography of a ‘Living Plagiary’: Vasilii Rozanov’s Secret Dostoevskian Genealogy

Irina Erman

Abstract


This article examines Vasilii Rozanov’s autobiographical practices by analyzing previously unnoticed aspects of his engagement with Fedor Dostoevsky’s works. Rozanov’s fascination with Dostoevsky is hardly a secret, and his contemporaries found his tendency to embody characters, such as Fedor Karamazov or Smerdiakov so striking that he was even called a ‘living plagiary’ of Dostoevsky’s novels. And yet, a major aspect of this literary performance has yet to be explored. The author posits that Rozanov’s excessive intertextuality and his creative embodiment of certain Dostoevskian characters contribute to his creation of a hybrid autobiography, whose uniqueness emerges from its fundamental dependence on others’ texts and its thematization of relationality. Ultimately, this article argues that Rozanov wrote himself into a Dostoevskian genealogy of his own making, while also developing an original authorial persona that combined autobiographical referentiality with a subjectivity enacted primarily through interaction with others’ texts.

Keywords


Rozanov; Dostoevsky; autobiographical practice; intertextuality; hybrid autobiography

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.25430/2281-6992/v7-171-190

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AvtobiografiЯ
Journal on Life Writing and the Representation of the Self in Russian Culture

Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Letterari
Via Elisabetta Vendramini 13
35137 PADOVA

ISSN: 2281-6992
Registrazione del Tribunale di Padova 23-04-2013, n. 2326 Registro della Stampa,
Variazione: Tribunale di Padova 27-10-2014, n. 3197 Registro della Stampa.

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