The Polyphony of the Silent: The Specifics of Dostoevsky’s Philosophical Discourse

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The article describes the phenomenon of silence in Dostoevsky’s later prose. Philosophical, plot-forming and psychological aspects of silence are looked at. A confessional type of monologue is defined as a discursive genre, with specific roles of the speaker and his silent listeners, whose predominance in Dostoevsky’s prose lets the author of the article adjust the notion of polyphony and dialogue within the context of Dostoevsky’s poetics. The conventionality of “the other” in the confessional type of monologue is proved by the absence of the completing functions in listeners. In most cases Dostoevsky’s later works retain some rudimental forms of frantic dialogue while the role of specific monologue discourse, caused and conditioned by silence, is increasing. By semantics and function types of silence in Dostoevsky fall into three groups: 1) the underground silence as expression of human disunity in the epoch of “universal solitude”; 2) “role silence” of listeners in the discursive genre of confessional monologue; 3) sacred silence of Christ indicating transition to a new higher level of communication

About the authors

Alexandr B. Krinitsyn

Moscow State University M.V. Lomonosov

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0262-5058

Doctor of Philology, Reader at the Department of the History of Russian Literature

Leninskie Gory, GSP, 1st building of Humanitarian Faculties, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation


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