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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

  • Classification – name: Literary studies
  • Author: Valentina V. Borisova
  • Pages: 844–860
  • Publisher: A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWL RAS Publ.)
  • Rights – description: Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 (СС BY-ND)
  • Rights – URL: Visit Website
  • Language of the publication: Russian
  • Type of document: Research Article
  • Collection: Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent: Current State of Research
  • DOI:
  • EDN:

  • Year of publication: 2022
  • Place of publication: Moscow
  • PDF

  • Borisova, V.V. “Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent in Contemporary Research.” Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent: Current State of Research. Editor-in-Chief T.A. Kasatkina. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2022, pp. 844–860. (In Russ.)

Information about the author:

Valentina V. Borisova, DSc in Philology, Professor, Head of the Department of Russian Literature, M. Akmullah Bashkir State Pedagogical University, Oktyabrskaya revolyutsiya 3 a, Ufa 450008, Russia; Professor, Moscow State Linguistic Unversity, Ostozhenka 38, Moscow 119034, Russia.


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


The review analyses the current state of research of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel The Adolescent. The starting point is the tradition of academic commentaries to the text, which allowed achievements in textual criticism during the 1960-1970s. Today we are obviously facing a new turn in both textual studies and commentaries to the novel. The main trends indicate that researchers aim at discovering the spiritual meaning of The Adolescent, its poetics, and sources. Nevertheless, contemporary surveys are characterized by a diversity of academic discourses, originated from psychology, history, cultural studies, linguistics, etc. In the field of literary studies, both Russian and foreign works show a rising interest in the novel’s poetics and the analysis of the role of the Christian tradition in the novel. Traditionally, the novel is studied within the prospective Dostoevsky’s Five great novels. Monographs reveal the artistic success and unique character of The Adolescent and integrate it into the meta-text of Dostoevsky’s life and oeuvre, giving a variety of typological reasons. Academic research maintains a typological and comparative-historical approach to this novel, though its literary context has not significantly expanded. A substantial aspect of Dostoevsky’s studies is dedicated to the narratology of The Adolescent and its genre features; the traditional definition of the book as a Bildungsroman has now gained a new modified formula. The article pays close attention to the few existing monographs that concentrate on The Adolescent. The article not only provides a review that helps understand how the novel is studied today but outlines prospects of research. Dostoevsky’s novel is organized as a multilayer reality. Therefore, it requires a complex approach — biographical, historical, literary, and mythopoetic (broadly speaking) — in order to allow a full reception of the novel The Adolescent, especially in the mass culture.

  • Keywords: Dostoevsky, The Adolescent, current state of research, results and perspectives.


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