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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: Tamara V. Kudryavtseva
  • Pages: 765–824
  • 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

  • Kudryavtseva, T.V. “The Novel The Adolescent by Fyodor Dostoevsky: Academical and Critical Reflection in German-Speaking Countries (19th– 21st Centuries).” Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent: Current State of Research. Editor-in-Chief T.A. Kasatkina. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2022, pp. 765–824. (In Russ.).

Information about the author:

Tamara V. Kudryavtseva, DSc in Philology, Director of Research, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 а, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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


The article analyzes the scientific and critical reception of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel The Adolescent in German-speaking countries. The review covers the period from the first translations of the novel into German (1886, 1905, 1915, 1921) and the first responses to the work by writers such as Nietzsche, Hesse, Kafka, and Mann, critics, and researchers of the last third of the 19th century and the first third of the 20th century (Hofmann, Müller, Natorp, etc.) to the present day (Gerigk, Neuhäuser, Garstka, etc.). The analyzed reviews, essays, prefaces to publications, and numerous reprints of the novel throughout the 20th century, scientific articles, monographs devoted to The Adolescent, indicate a fairly stable interest of German intellectuals in this work of Fyodor Dostoevsky. The available material shows that the recipients were somehow interested in all aspects of the novel, from its themes and problems (socio-political atmosphere in society, problems of generational change, family education, growing up, etc.) to the peculiarities of poetics (plot composition, typology of images, novel polyphony etc.). The analysis and evaluation of the novel are usually carried out in direct connection with the realities of the writer’s life, with his worldview, religious, aesthetic views, taking into account the cultural context of the era. The article shows the differences in the reception of the novel at different times, as well as in connection with ideological and purely individual ones, due to the specific task that each recipient sets himself. The common denominator may be found in the recognition of The Adolescent as one of the most famous novels of Dostoevsky, as it is shown by the fact that it is always considered as one of Dostoevsky’s five great novels, or “Pentateuch”; however, it is also true that The Adolescent presents less value and popularity than Dostoevsky’s other novels, as it is proved by the smaller quantity of research about it. Nevertheless, The Adolescent receives well-deserved recognition to this day not only as a relevant work of the famous Russian author but also for the experimental, modernist nature of its artistic structure, thereby consolidating the canonical significance of the novel in the European literary process of the 20th and 21st centuries.

  • Keywords: Dostoevsky, German literature, novel, reception, modernism, сanon.


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