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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:

Tanja М. Popović, PhD in literature, full professor, Department of comparative literature, Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Studentski sq., 1, Belgrade, Serbia.

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This study investigates interpretations of Eastern and Western themes and ideologies in the novel Notes from Underground by F.M. Dostoevsky. Particular attention is paid to the opposite readings of Dostoevsky in the works of Serbian philologists and philosophers: the Russian literature professor M. Babović, a supporter of socialist realism, and the philosopher N. Milošević, a supporter of Russian theological criticism and Western psychoanalysis. M. Babović regarded Dostoevsky as a writer of revolution, a defender of the poor, humiliated and insulted, proclaiming him the leader of “socialist realism” or “critical realism” and the prophet of Bolshevism in Russia. N. Milošević thought that “Notes from Underground’’ was the most significant work of F.M. Dostoevsky, and the best novel in the world, which represents the first radical artistic expression of anthropological pessimism in literature.

  • Keywords: Notes from Underground, F.M. Dostoevsky, M. Babović, Socialist realism, N. Milošević, neurosis, scepticism, psychoanalytic theory.


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