Plastic Origin in Literature: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel «Demons»

  • Елена Владимировна Степанян Associate Professor, Moscow State Institut of Сulture, Moscow, Russia.
Keywords: Dostoevsky, Demons, Literature, Representation, Visualization, Portrait, Scenery, Symbol.


This article examines the problem of the interaction between literature and fine art. Both prose and poetry have the idiosyncratic power of visualizing the image of the world and man. Significant mention of color and light, the state of the air; the organization of space characteristic of this author; ecstatic inclusions; ways to portray a character; techniques for creating a landscape, interior, and etc. Dostoevsky’s representational devices are profoundly symbolic, which is confirmed by the analysis of his novel Demons (1871-1872) showing the presence of a complete ekphrastic episode (Stavrogin’s dream of the Golden age inspired by Claude Lorrain’s painting) characterizing the anthropology of the writer. The elaborately structured space of the novel reflects the intercrossing of the characters’ life paths. References to colors are substantive — for example, the token combination of green and red, which repeatedly appears in the text. An analysis of the descriptions of portraits in the novel allows to conclude that on this level, likewise, a character transpires as a focus of contending forces. Thus, The Demons proves to be a strong example of both literary pictorial art and the writer’s search for innovative approaches to depicting the world and man.

How to Cite
Степанян, Е. (2020). Plastic Origin in Literature: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel «Demons». Issledovatel’skiy Zhurnal Russkogo Yazyka I Literatury, 8(2). Retrieved from