Dickens’s influence on DostoevskijIn his Diary of a Writer Dostoevskij wrote: We understand Dickens in Russia, I am convinced, almost as well as the English; maybe even we love him no less than his own countrymen; and yet how typical, distinctive, and national Dickens is. Dostoevskij understood the powerful artistic vision of Dickens; admiring especially Dickenss humbler characters. As Dickens decided to be their voice in Great Britain, so Dostoevskij decided to be their voice in Russia.
common characteristics humble characters sophisticated plots a great numbers of characters the "wisdom of the heart“ , which involves compassion for the insulted and injured The attitude both writers express towards the social issues of crime and punishment Their hometowns, London and Sankt Petersburg, are the main characters of their novels
Dostoevskij and Sankt Petersburg Dostoevskij like Balzac, Baudelaire, Dickens, and Gogol - was among the first to recognize the symbolic possibilities of city life and imagery drawn from the city The crowded streets and squares, the shabby houses and taverns, the noise and stench, all are imaginatively transformed into a rich store of metaphors for states of mind
“... in St. Petersburg, the most abstract and intentional city on the entire globe…”
From Chapter 5 Crime and Punishment In this way he walked right across Vassilevskij Ostrov, came out on to the Lesser Neva, crossed the bridge and turned towards the islands. The greenness and freshness were at first restful to his weary eyes after the dust of the town and the huge houses that hemmed him in and weighed upon him. Here there were no taverns, no stifling closeness, no stench.
Dickens’s London London is as much a character in Charles Dickenss novels. To Dickens, London was a living, breathing entity for which he had an enduring fascination. He loved its diversity yet hated its inequalities, and his descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells of the city are among the most evocative passages in English literature.
“inanimate London was a sooty spectre, dividedin purpose between being visible and invisible”
From Chapter 8 Oliver TwistThe street was very narrow and muddy, and the air was impregnated with filthy odours. There were a good many small shops; but the only stock in trade appeared to be heaps of children, who, even at that time of night, were crawling in and out at the doors, or screaming from inside.