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Khrenov Nikolai Andreevich,
Doctor of Philosophy, Professor,
the Gerasimov Russian State
University of Cinematography

The Superman in the Russian version:
philosophical aspects of the novel by F. Dostoevsky's "Demons"
and V. Khotinenko's film based on this novel


Abstract. The article analyzes the novel by F. Dostoevsky's "Demons". It also makes some observations on the attempt of director V. Khotinenko to present his cinematic incarnation. Realizing that during the adaptation of this novel, the criminal-adventurous theme usually comes to the fore (in general, such plots turn out well in the cinema, and this is due to the specifics of this art form), the author tries to analyze those philosophical meanings of the novel, without which the aesthetics and poetics of the works of F. Dostoevsky simply does not exist. Aiming to demonstrate the philosophical implications of the novel "Demons", the author seeks to prove that F. Dostoevsky is not just a writer, but also a philosopher, and his ideas are consonant with Western philosophy and not only of the nineteenth, but also of the twentieth century. Thus, S. Kierkegaard and F. Nietzsche appear in his field of vision. Through the prism of the philosophical ideas of these thinkers, the meanings of the novel "Demons" are also comprehended. In this sense, attention is drawn to the author's desire to present the hero of the novel, Nikolai Stavrogin, with what F. Nietzsche calls a "superman". "Man-god" as a concept used by Dostoevsky in the novel is a synonym for "superman" by F. Nietzsche. But Dostoevsky is not a philosopher at all. He represents such a trend in philosophy, which in the twentieth century is designated as the philosophy of existentialism. Another representative of Russian existentialism, L. Shestov, reads Dostoevsky's later novels in this vein. Singling out Stavrogin's Demons among the characters of the novel, the author seeks to show that the biography and ideas of this central hero in the novel, representing the sixties of the nineteenth century, or, more precisely, nihilists, must be considered in a long time, which began with the "Voltaire" of the XVIII century and ending with the decadence of the turn of the XIX-XX centuries. Dostoevsky anticipates not only the Russian Renaissance of the early twentieth century, designated today as the Silver Age, but also decadence. Thus, the author confirms the idea of D. Merezhkovsky, who introduced Dostoevsky, as well as L. Tolstoy, anticipating the heyday of Russian culture, which is known as the Silver Age with its spiritual and bodily breakthroughs, but also with longing and attraction to Thanatos.

Keywords. Dostoevsky, the novel "Demons", Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, V. Solovyov, L. Shestov, N. Berdyaev, S. Bulgakov, Kant, D. Merezhkovsky, Camus, nihilism, positivism, romanticism, superman, man-god, God-man, existentialism, Stavrogin, Verkhovensky, Bakunin, Nechaev, Marquis de Sade. decadence, Legend of the Grand Inquisitor, man from underground, Plato's cave, big time , V. Khotinenko


[1] The dispute about Bakunin and Dostoevsky. Articles by L. Grossman and Vyach. Polonsky. L.: State Publishing House, 1926.
[2] Shestov L. Essays: in 2 vols. Vol. 2. p. 70.
[3] Lebon G. Psychology of peoples and masses // Psychology of the crowd. Social and political mechanisms of influence on the masses. M.- St. Petersburg, 2003. p. 3.
[4] Bulgakov S. Ivan Karamazov as a philosophical type // Bulgakov S. Essays: in 2 vols. t. 2. M.: Nauka, 1993. pp. 15-45. pp. 38-752.
[5] Bakhtin M. Collected works: in 7 vols. 5. Works of the 1940s - early 1960s. M., 1996. p. 77.
[6] L. Shestov, Dostoevsky, and Nietzsche (the Philosophy of tragedy) // Shestov L. Selected writings. M.: Renaissance, 1993. S. 199-752.
[7] L. Shestov Works: in 2 t. T. 2. M.: Nauka, 1993. S. 34-560.
[8] ibid. P. 34.
[9] ibid. P. 70.
[10] Eisenstein S. Method: in 2 t. T. 1. M., 2002. P. 112.
[11] L. Shestov Decree. Op. vol. 2. P. 27.
[12] L. Shestov Kirkegard and existentialist philosophy. M.: Progress – Gnozis Publ., 1992. P. 21.
[13] ibid. P. 28.
[14] L. Shestov Overcoming snoozeville (the centenary of the birth of F. M. Dostoevsky) // Shestov L. Works: in 2 v. Vol. 2. M.: Nauka, 1993. P. 25-48. P. 42-560.
[15] ibid. P. 42.
[16] Vladimir Solovyov Literary criticism. M.: Sovremennik, 1990. P. 47-422.
[17] V. Rozanov works. When the authorities left... Moscow: Republic, 2005. p. 342.
[18] Saraskina L. Literary classics in the temptation of film adaptations. The Century of reincarnations. M.: Progress-Tradition, 2018. pp. 205-584.
[19] Dostoevsky F. Collected works: in 10 vols. 7. p. 46.
[20] Shestov L. Decree. op. p. 76.
[21] Dostoevsky F. Collected works: in 10 vols. 7. p. 641.
[22] Ibid. p. 642.
[23] Ibid. p. 644.
[24] Merezhkovsky D. L. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Eternal companions. Moscow: Publishing House "Republic", 1995. pp. 306-624.
[25] Nietzsche F. Decree. op. Vol. 2. p. 620.
[26] Ibid.
[27] Ibid.
[28] Dostoevsky F. Decree. op. p. 260.
[29] Ibid. p. 262.
[30] Ibid. p. 264.
[31] Ibid. p. 265.
[32] Ibid.
[33] Ibid.
[34] Roman Stoics. Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius. M.: Republic, 1995. pp. 109. pp. 14-166.
[35] Merezhkovsky D. L. Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Eternal companions. p. 276.
[36] Erickson E. Young Luther. Psychoanalytic historical research. Moscow: Medium, 1996. pp. 82-506.
[37] Dostoevsky F. Decree. op. p. 442.
[38] Ibid., p. 441.
[39] Ibid., p. 269.
[40] Ibid., p. 423.
[41] Ibid., p. 437.
[42] Ibid.
[43] Bakhtin M. Problems of Dostoevsky's poetics. M.: Fiction, 1972. pp. 37-470.



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