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Dante’s Epic in Russian Literature: N. V. Gogol, I. A. Goncharov, F. M. Dostoevsky

Abstract: “Dead Souls” by N. V. Gogol, the novel trilogy by I. A. Goncharov, “The Brothers Karamazov” by F. M. Dostoevsky form the line of “Dante’s epic” in Russian literature. Solving the problems of historical mission of Russia in the modern world and the fate of modern Russian man in a purely theological key, all three authors deeply and creatively comprehended the question of three-part structure of “The Divine Comedy.” Within the framework of “national utopia” (Gogol), the historically defined image of Russia’s movement from “sleep” to “awakening” (Goncharov), the ideal of “Christian socialism” (Dostoevsky), Russian writers raised the question of fundamental possibility of spiritual transformation for an individual and a nation, indicated for a modern man, infected with apostasy and selfishness, the way from the “hell” of modern life to the religious ideal, to the “paradise,” which all three considered achievable even in earthly life, although they understood it differently. The appearance of the “Dante’s epic” in Russian literature is predetermined, in particular, by its organic attraction to the Orthodox worldview, which determined the centuries-old productivity in art of such an archetype of human behavior as “sin — repentance — resurrection.”
Keywords: epic / Goncharov / Gogol / Dostoevsky / Russian literature / behavior / Dante / structure

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