For citation:

Magaril-Ilyaeva T.G. The Single Text: on the History of the Term and its Role in Dostoevsky Studies. Studia Litterarum, 2019, vol. 4, no 4, pp. 10–27. (In Russ.)

DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2019-4-4-10-27

Author: T.G. Magaril-Ilyaeva
Information about the author:

Tatyana G. Magaril-Ilyaeva, Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: 0000-0001-7521-1898

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

Received: May 26, 2019
Published: December 25, 2019
Issue: 2019 Vol. 4, №4
Department: Literary Theory
Pages: 10-27

UDK: 82.0+821.161.1
BBK: 83 + 83.3(2Рос=Рус)
Keywords: the concept of the “single text”, Dostoevsky’s early period (1840s), motif, textual structure, author’s objective


The essay introduces a new term “the single text” as a methodological tool for the study of the early Dostoevsky. This allows me to analyze intersections between different works of the period rather than examine them as individual texts. What justifies the proposed method is the existence of a global philosophical objective/problem that the author is trying to reach/solve in the select period of his life. A global philosophical objective implies a range of ontological questions that relate to the deeper foundations of the author’s mindset. This objective is so important that the author recurrently refers to it and is looking for the possible ways to fulfil his goal in different works. It is all the more important to define the author’s objective and its meaningful core that unites all the motifs in the works of the select period as they contribute to its implementation. The definition should verify that the featured motif belongs to the author’s intention rather than being a whimsical researcher’s point of view. The essay therefore examines the underlying goal or objective lying at the core of the early period in the work of Dostoevsky that can be defined as searching for the ways to transcend the inertness of being.


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