The culture of justice

reflections on punishment in Dostoevsky's The Idiot

Andrea Zink

pp. 413-429

The article investigates Dostoevsky's juridical discourse and demonstrates that the apologist of the Russian soul had a genuinely European mind. In his novel The Idiot in particular, in which the death penalty and imprisonment are explored, Dostoevsky unmasks—more radically even than Victor Hugo—the supposedly civilised and lenient forms of modern criminal justice. Dostoevsky's criticism is ahead of its time; his arguments resemble those subsequently put forward by Foucault. A comparison with Anatoly Pristavkin's report on post-Communist crime and jurisdiction underscores the topicality of these reflections.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11212-010-9123-x

Full citation:

Zink, A. (2010). The culture of justice: reflections on punishment in Dostoevsky's The Idiot. Studies in East European Thought 62 (3-4), pp. 413-429.

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