AbstractIn her article Raffaella Vassena explores the evolution of the autobiographical articles in Dostoevsky’s Diary of a Writer, especially those related to the author’s childhood, and how they came to have a minor role in the Diary of a Writer genre system. Ever since the last 1873 issue of the Diary of a Writer, the author attempts to resort to a peculiar type of memory, that of childhood memories, to which he demands a different function. In Dostoevsky’s view, childhood memories are an invaluable treasure – two or three good memories from a sad and painful childhood are able to guide a man to good deeds even in the most terrible moments of his adult life. Childhood memories can fight the social and moral plague that Dostoevsky openly denounces in the Diary of a Writer and to the defeat of which he mainly published his Diary: obosoblenie, a dissociation from traditional moral values, such as family and religion, occurring at every social level and due to the increasing diffusion of materialism. Dostoevsky pointed to the Diary of a Writer as a possible guiding light, and to a specifically Russian ethical-religious solution, able to join together and embrace the whole of humanity. In some Diary of a Writer issues Dostoevsky seems to ‘offer’ as a solution to the increasing dissociation his childhood memories. The fragments of the author’s individual memory are then transfigured into moments of a collective memory, removed and forgotten yet alive and sharable by the ideal reader.
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