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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: Viktor M. Dimitriev
  • Pages: 568–594
  • 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

  • Dimitriev, V.M. “Children Stories in The Adolescent by Fyodor Dostoevsky: From the Drafts to the Novel.” Dostoevsky’s Novel The Adolescent: Current State of Research. Editor-in-Chief T.A. Kasatkina. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2022, pp. 568–594. (In Russ.)


Information about the author:

Viktor M. Dimitriev, PhD in Philology, Senior Lecturer, National Research University Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Griboedov Canal Emb. 123, St. Petersburg 190000, Russia; Research Assistant, Institute of Russian Literature (Pushkin House), Makarov Emb. 4, 199034 St. Petersburg, Russia.


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


The article deals with two fragments of the drafts of The Adolescent concerning images of children. The first part concentrates on the reason why Dostoevsky excludes from the final text of the novel a fragment about the meeting of Arkady with a freezing girl named Arisha that was collocated before the hero dreamed of Touchard’s boarding school (second part, chapter nine). The author of the article explains the exclusion of the episode with Arisha by the specifics of the development of the theme of children in the final text, the expansion of Arkady’s authorial rights, as well as an important change of motivation for the fragment. The second part is devoted to the story of the “boy with a bird” in the drafts of the novel, which was supposed to be one of the main plotlines of the final text. This story was modified to become one of Makar Dolgoruky’s “touching stories”, precisely the story (skaz) of the merchant Skotoboinikov. The article focuses on the development of the story of the “boy with a bird” in the drafts and on the reasons that could explain the change of function of this plotline in the final text. The fact that the story has been placed at the beginning of the third part of the novel is important because the main purpose of this part is to slow down the plot development, and the story becomes a metonymy of the main conflict, notably, the confrontation between Versilov and Arkady Dolgoruky. Special attention is paid to the fact that Arkady told this story trying to reproduce the style of Makar Dolgoruky.

  • Keywords: Dostoevsky, The Adolescent, textology, drafts, motivation, poetics.


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