The thematic sequence of Dostoevsky’s books is strictly defined. The idea of the next book of the writer defeats the idea of the previous one, and the idea of the first one defeats the idea of the last one, tying all the books into a single ring. This implies that in reality the author of Dostoevsky’s books was some kind of superintelligence that had gone far in its development, using the writer as its prophet.
and turneth about unto the north;
it whirleth about continually,
and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.
The general subject of the five books of Dostoevsky.
At first glance, the subject of Dostoevsky’s works seem to be a kind of mosaic of a variety of ideas, concepts and points of view. Each character of the writer has his own unique world, which was named by M.M. Bakhtin “polyphony”1. But if each character in the book is ideologically unique, this does not at all indicate the absence of a general idea of the work, but only the special talent of the writer to completely hide himself in the work and not interfere with the free flow of action. Raskolnikov is just Raskolnikov. Stavrogin is only Stavrogin, and even the chronicler in «Demons» has nothing to do with the writer, Dostoevsky.
Each of the five books of Dostoevsky’s Pentateuch is devoted to the disclosure of a very specific central idea, although all ideas are reflected in one way or another in other books. Comparing Pushkin’s «Little Tragedies» with Dostoevsky’s books, one can accurately determine the main theme of each book. The correlation between subjects of Pushkin’s «Little Tragedies» and Dostoevsky’s books was considered in the article «Little Tragedies» by Pushkin as a blueprint for Dostoevsky’s main novels.2
«Mozart and Salieri» corresponds to the book «Crime and Punishment». The path to “universal happiness” may lie through crime. Winning a war necessarily requires killing enemies, and civilians inevitably die. Dostoevsky often wondered whether the blood of an innocently murdered baby could justify all the blessings of the world? Raskolnikov is concerned with the question of whether it is possible to step over «other obstacles» in good conscience? Is it possible, having committed a crime in the name of a great goal, without any remorse to bend over and pick up the results of the crime from the ground in order to use these results in the name of the common good? The main engine in the case of Raskolnikov and Salieri is reason and mental analysis. If logic says that the end justifies the means, then reason wins. Salieri’s phrase that “the creator of the Vatican was a murderer” echoes the epigraph of the fifth book “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”3 In the Gospel of John, this phrase justifies the sacrificial death of Jesus.
«Stone Guest» demonstrates the full power of the Idol. An image or a dream can become much stronger than reality and control everything that happens. Don Juan is able to win the heart of a beautiful girl and defeat an opponent using courage, strength and pressure — purely human feelings. But between him and Donna Anna is the image of her deceased husband, which exists in the form of a statue. Don Juan is not able to defeat the inanimate image. In «The Idiot», everything is built on demonstrating the power of dreams. Anastasia Filipovna loves the product of her imagination, which materialized in Prince Myshkin and point-blank does not notice the completely real Rogozhin. For Myshkin, the dream that he saw somewhere in a dream is primarily Nastasya Filipovna, but it can also become Aglaya. All this ultimately leads to tragedy.
“A Feast in the Time of Plague” depicts Walsingham presiding over a feast during a plague and singing a hymn to it. This is very consonant with the character of Klim Samgin, who observes the development of the revolution in Russia, or very reminiscent of Stavrogin from Dostoevsky’s «Demons». To take the side of any current or group, a sensual attitude is required, but Stavrogin is deprived of the ability to feel.
For the Miserly Knight, money is the deity. In his monologue, he explains that money can do anything.
As soon as I want, halls will be erected;
To my magnificent gardens
The nymphs will run in a frisky crowd;
And the muses will bring me their tribute,
And I enslave free genius.
Virtue and sleepless labor
Will humbly await my reward.
I whistle, and to me obediently, timidly
Bloodied villainy will creep in,
And will lick my hand, and into my eyes
Look, reading signs of my will.4
The subject of the “idea” of Arkady from the book “The Adolescent” is also a kind of deification of money. He wants to get rich like Rothschild, to become independent and powerful. Both the real and adoptive fathers of Arkady live in such a way that money that money looks like does not matter in their existence.
In «Notes from the Underground», Dostoevsky explains that there is a certain “law of contradiction”, characteristic of living organisms, which opposes all other laws. No matter how well society is built, a person will never agree to live as prescribed for him and it is better to break all visible laws just to live for his own pleasure. Faust, sitting on the seashore in Pushkin’s play «A Scene from Faust», cannot simply be bored, «like everyone else.» If any desire is available to a person thanks to the help of the devil, it is deadly boring. The manifestation of real life is hostile to Faust.
The three-masted Spanish ship is full of life. There are hundreds of bastards and gold and a load of rich chocolate. Out of boredom, Faust orders Mephistopheles to sink everything. The murder of Fyodor Karamazov in «The Brothers Karamazov» is done in such a way that each of his children is involved in the event to some extent. This murder is committed outside all laws and regulations, and at the same time, it is not so easy to find the culprit and bring him a specific charge.
If you take a closer look at these books, it turns out that their mutual arrangement is quite clearly defined and the logic here is the same as in the children’s rhyme “stone, paper, scissors”. The winner is determined by the following rules: paper beats stone — it wraps it, stone beats scissors — it blunts them, scissors beats paper — they cut it. The human world exists and is ruled by forces, each of which can be defeated by another force. Taken together, these forces constitute a balance; none of them is capable of unilaterally taking over the others. Let us consider how this idea is implemented by Dostoevsky.
Miracle conquers the mind.
The strength of the idol from the second book «The Idiot» shows its advantage over the first book «Crime and Punishment». The play “Woe from Wit” by Griboedov develops the idea of “Praise of Stupidity” by Erasmus of Rotterdam. Reason and analysis are helpless before the power of prejudices, idols, miracles and authorities. The old cardinal explains this in the poem “The Grand Inquisitor”. The old gods are omnipotent as long as they remain idols. No sound logic of the times of the USSR could shake the omnipotence of Lenin’s ideology. Many civilizations and cultures have based their entire existence on the power of gods and idols. Interestingly, the second commandment of the Bible says “do not make yourself an idol”, although how could it be without them?
Despite the fact that Jesus renounces the power of miracles and loaves while conversing with the devil, in the chapter about Cana of Galilee he turns water into wine, which significantly raises his image. The very foundation of Christian teaching lies on the miracle of resurrection from the dead and Lazarus and Jesus himself. The very title of the second book, «The Idiot», is a kind of praise for stupidity. Lev Myshkin is not only considered a generally positive character, he is also compared to Jesus. Nastasya Filipovna falls in love with him as an idol, despite the obvious defectiveness of his manhood, which Rogozhin has in abundance.
A living feeling wins over the image.
The theme of the second book wins the theme of the third. The idol is cold and soulless, but cannot resist a living feeling. Civilizations and cultures perish because their faith and idols are discredited. The omnipotence of the cult of Lenin ended not as a result of strict logical analysis, but when he turned from an abstract image into a real and by no means ideal person. The Western Roman Empire could not coexist with the newly emerging Christian world, while the Eastern Empire lived much longer, adapting Christianity for its statehood. The European world created itself by doing the same. The civilizations of South America turned out to be powerless before the benefits of the European world.
In the book «The Life of Klim Samgin» the action takes place against the backdrop of unfolding revolutionary activity in Russia. The book «Demons» tells about the same thing. Tsar Nicholas II was an absolute idol for the entire population of Russia, the guarantor of the political stability of the country. Priest Gapon’s provocation was to do the impossible — to force the tsar to make concessions from revolutionary-minded groups. Obviously any action on the part of Nicholas II would be directed against him. As a result of the execution of the Gapon demonstration on Bloody Sunday, many people died, but the tsar’s image was dealt the main blow. Now he has turned from the Symbol of the Great Empire into «Nicholas the Bloody», which have made the further development of the revolutionary movement and, ultimately, the death of the Russian Empire inevitable.
In order for Nikolai Trofimovich from the book “Demons” to be able to realize the illusory nature of his position in the house of general’s wife Stavrogina and the emptiness of his pseudo-revolutionary activity, he had to leave home into the reality of the world. If the system is in a quasi-stable state, like a ball on top of a mountain, a small push brings the system out of equilibrium and completely destroys it. It is necessary to recall the epigraph to the book “Demons”. First, an excerpt from Pushkin’s poem «Demons» is given. Evil spirits can be compared with all the revolutionary movements in Russia. They often do not have any real ideas for the development of society, except for the complete destruction of everything. The huge property and social inequality between the nobility, merchants and the common people in Russian Empire justifies the activities of devilry.
The only method of curing a demoniac is the one given in the epigraph. The demons, leaving the man, entered the pigs and the whole herd rushed into the water and drowned — the society must go wild: finally bury the boggarts and marry the witch. It should be noted that the exceptional political stability of modern Russia is due to the fact that as a result of a series of revolutions, including the last bourgeois-democratic revolution of the 90s, the process of expelling demons in a single country was successfully completed.
Money and laws conquer feelings.
The power of the third book is overcome by the power of the fourth. The fact that money rules the world very firmly is not at all difficult to understand. Real and living feeling, the natural nature of man, is defeated by the power of the material world and, above all, by the power of money. Arkady argues: “money is the only way that brings even a nonentity to the first place, if I’m rich like Rothschild, who will cope with my face and won’t thousands of women, just whistle, fly to me with their beauties? I am even sure that they themselves, quite sincerely, will consider me handsome in the end.»
Tatyana Larina, whose love for Onegin is described in the third chapter of «Eugene Onegin», must go wild with her love and Eugene contributed perfectly to this with his sermons in the fourth chapter. In addition to this, Tatyana was able to realize a lot by studying her friend’s library in the seventh chapter. The power of money is easiest to understand in a society where almost everything, everywhere is decided by money and other, old idols, have died. Feelings do not play any role — they can be bought. Reason and analysis matter only when they can lead to real financial gain.
And knightly voices
Laugh-like as chains.5
A special pictorial power in the book «The Adolescent» has a raw milky fog on a rotten business morning in St. Petersburg so beloved by Arkady. He associates this fog with monetary relations that rule St. Petersburg.
Arkady fantasizes: “A hundred times, in the midst of this fog, a strange but obsessive dream was asked to me: «And what, how will this fog scatter and go up, will this whole rotten, slimy city go with it, rise with the fog and disappear like smoke, and the former Finnish swamp will remain, and in the middle of it, perhaps, for beauty, the Bronze Rider on a hot-breathing, driven horse?”
The statue of Peter I from Pushkin’s poem «The Copper Horseman», like the statue of the commander from the play «The Stone Guest», comes to life and gallops around the city after the mad Eugene, symbolizing the invincible power of commodity-money relations.
The fifth law of contradiction and disagreement.
If there is a strict set of laws governing the world, then it is probably possible to create an ideal society that will live along the most optimal and happy path. In particular, the theories of a socialist society believed that the full regulation of economic activity was not only able to eliminate the contradictions between the poor and the rich, but also to make the economy develop with maximum efficiency. As the history of the USSR has shown, people do not want to live in such an “ideal” society. In Dostoevsky’s story «The Dream of a Ridiculous Man», a beautiful fairy tale does not have the elementary criteria of stability and collapses at the slightest touch.
The unwillingness of a person to live “as one should” or “to be bored like everyone else” is described by Dostoevsky in the fifth book “The Brothers Karamazov” in a variety of variations and examples. The young girl Vera, named in the book “Imp”, has everything: she is rich, she does not need anything, except that she must sit in a wheelchair. As a result, she only dreams of suffering. «I should like some one to torture me, marry me and then torture me, deceive me and go away. I don’t want to be happy! I terribly want to set fire to the house, Alyosha, our house… I sometimes think of doing an awful lot of evil and all that is bad, and I will do it quietly for a long time, and suddenly everyone will know. Everyone will surround me and point fingers at me, and I will look at everyone. It is very nice.»
In Ivan Karamazov’s poem «The Grand Inquisitor» the normal course of life, according to the laws of loaves, miracles and the sword of Caesar, which the old cardinal serves, can be disturbed by the appearance of a living idol, a kind of revived stone guest. According to his laws, the inquisitor must burn Jesus as the main criminal. However, it is precisely due to the power of this “fifth law of contradiction” instead of enforcing judgment on Jesus, he releases him into the speechless city squares.
The intelligence wins violation of laws.
During revolutions and immediately after them, all those who destroy the usual course of things in the name of a brighter future are recorded as heroes. Monuments are erected to them, salutes are thundered in their honor. However, after some time in a stable society where nothing needs to be broken, such people are considered criminals. The streets named after them are renamed, the subject of their activity is condemned. After a period of violation of all laws, as the most important law, cold reasoning enters the scene, defeating the “fifth point”. Rodion Raskolnikov is convicted and sentenced by the court to legal punishment.
And a new circle begins. Reason is conquered by miracle and authority. The image is dissipated by real feeling and life. Feeling is powerless against the laws of matter and money. Any strict laws cannot make sentient beings live a boring and happy life, but force them to jump over red flags instead. Any violation of laws is stopped by strict reasonable analysis. Porfiry Petrovich always defeats Raskolnikov.
Who is the author of Dostoevsky’s works?
If Dostoevsky’s works are so interconnected and represent a single and ideologically complete product, who can be the author of this work? Needless to say, the average person is not capable of this. All Dostoevsky’s work is the result of the activity of some extraterrestrial intelligence that has gone very far in its development. Of course, this «intelligence» can be called quite «earthly», since the result of his creativity located on the Earth.
Such creativity can be compared with drawings in wheat and corn fields, which regularly appear in our time around the world. The creator of these paintings uses living plants in some way influencing them. Obviously, it is impossible to explain the drawings by the fact that they «flattened themselves» or that someone began to walk in the field at night and stir the wheat6.
This super intelligence for its creativity had to choose a specific person, provide him with everything that can help him write books and dictate to him all the texts that were carefully considered and planned in advance. The writer in this case fulfills a well-known role, known in religions as a «prophet». The presence of such material makes it possible to study the real author of all these books in the same way that Tatyana studied Onegin in his library. The character of the author can be identified by his work.
Many pages preserved
the trenchant mark of fingernails;
the eyes of the attentive maiden
are fixed on them more eagerly.
Tatiana sees with trepidation
by what thought, observation
Onegin would be struck,
what he agreed with tacitly.
The dashes of his pencil she
encounters in their margins.
Unconsciously Onegin’s soul
has everywhere expressed itself —
now by a succinct word, now by a cross,
now by an interrogatory crotchet.7
For Tatyana, it was not the choice of Onegin’s books that was so important, but what attitude he gave to one or another opinion in this book. If the traditional phrase “the work of a talented writer is a gift from God” is understood literally, then the opinions and character of the writer himself will take only a secondary relation to the main subject of study — nature of superintelegence used the writer as his prophet. Polyphony or the absence of the opinion of the writer himself turns into absolute monophony. Studying Dostoevsky’s books we study «extraterrestrial — terrestrial superintelegence», which is traditionally called «god».
- M.M. Bakhtin «Problems of Dostoevsky’s Creativity»↩
- Shavirin, Serge (2019): A.S. Pushkin’s «The Little Tragedies», as a blueprint of F.M. Dostoevsky’s main novels.. figshare. Preprint. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.10050065↩
- Gospel of John 12:24↩
- A.S. Pushkin «The Miserly Knight»↩
- Yuri Vizbor «Now they are talking about money»↩
- P.P. Ershov «The Little Humpbacked Horse»↩
- A.S. Pushkin «Eugene Onegin» 7:23 Tanslation by Nabokov↩