• Under the Floorboards, Over the Door: The Gothic Corpse and Writing Fear in The Idiot

    Author(s):
    Katherine Bowers (see profile)
    Date:
    2021
    Subject(s):
    Dostoyevsky, Fyodor, 1821-1881, Realism, Fiction, Nineteenth century, Russian literature, Gothic literature
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    corpse, novel, The Idiot, nineteenth-century Russian literature, Dostoevsky, Nineteenth-century fiction
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/d84q-6d78
    Abstract:
    This chapter argues that the concept of the gothic corpse can be productively used to analyze Dostoevsky's The Idiot (1869) through the deployment of two specific imagined corpses in the novel: "The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb" by Hans Holbein the Younger and the murderer's victim buried under the floorboards of Rogozhin's house. The author identifies three scenes, each significant for the narrative's meaning and each focused on the image of the corpse. The author argues that gothic narrative force, stemming from the corpse imagery, informs the overall plot of The Idiot and, more broadly, Dostoevsky's attempts to incorporate affect into realist representation.
    Notes:
    This chapter appears in the volume Dostoevsky at 200: The Novel in Modernity, published by University of Toronto Press (https://utorontopress.com/9781487508630/dostoevsky-at-200/) and co-edited by Katherine Bowers and Kate Holland. The volume is available open access with support from the University of Toronto Press Open Monographs program (https://hdl.handle.net/1807/106644) under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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