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Alien Look in the Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky. P. 46–53

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Section: Philology




Yaroslavna N. Degteva
Voronezh State University; pl. Lenina 10, Voronezh, 394018, Russian Federation;


In the system of methods and means of creating an artistic image, an important role is played by the poetics of the visual. The visual in literature has been studied from many sides, but some of its aspects remain unexplored, in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s works in particular. One such important issue is alien look, to study which the article turns to Dostoevsky’s novel The Double (1846). Alien look is defined as a subject’s gaze directed at some object, other than oneself, with alienation (as if with someone else’s eyes). In line with its purpose, the research applied a cultural-historical approach to the analysis of literary phenomena. The works of Russian and foreign scholars – M.M. Bakhtin, M. Jones, R. Lachmann, A.B. Krinitsyn and others – were used as a methodological basis. The phenomenon of alien look in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s works is studied here for the first time. Hence the theoretical significance of this paper, contributing to the existing fundamental concepts and demonstrating their heuristic value in the legacy of a certain writer. In terms of practice, the results of the analysis of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s prose can be used in teaching relevant disciplines to university students as well as in psychological counselling, bibliotherapy in particular. Alien look in The Double belongs to the tradition of the Petersburg text of Russian literature and to the scopic regime of the 19th century. The phenomenon under study is significant not only as an element of poetics, but also as a means of developing literary anthropology and characterology. Research into alien look allows us to expand the interpretation and analysis of Dostoevsky’s The Double.


Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Double, the visual, alien look, Petersburg text of Russian literature, scopic regime
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