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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

About the author:

Anastasiya S. Aristova, PhD in Philology, Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia

 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The article analyzes the value of Notes from Underground for Christian anthropology of the Serbian theologian Justin Popović. He considers the hero of Notes from the Underground as the genealogical predecessor of Dostoevsky’s negative characters: Raskolnikov, Kirillov, the Grand Inquisitor, Ivan Karamazov, who develop, experience and theoretically deepen the discoveries of the underground hero, the main ones of which are as follows: 1) consciousness is a disease, the human mind is too weak and limited to comprehend the tragedy of the problems of the universe; 2) human individuality is depersonalized by the forces of nature, science, civilization, a rebellion against them is natural; 3) salvation of the individuality of a personality is in the will, “unlimited desire”. The anthropological similarity of all negative characters, according to J. Popović, consists in their “intellectual kinship and intimate friendly relations with the devil”, who is “the first critic of God’s creation”. Penetrating into a person’s thoughts, by means of logically harmonious arguments, he convinces him of the rationality and naturalness of sin and, using the human mind as his medium, does evil in the world, while antiheroes, without knowing it, embody in their words and actions not their own, but devilish will, turning life into devilodicy. The main discovery of Dostoevsky, according to J. Popović, is that he discovered “the method of the devil’s activity in the field of life”, showing “the metaphysical root of evil, which lies outside the human senses”. The article also reveals the influence of patristic literature and the works of Father Pavel Florensky on the anthropology of J. Popović.

  • Keywords: Notes from Underground, Justin Popović, Dostoevsky, anthropology, antiheroes, patristics, Pavel Florensky, Europe and Slavism.


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