By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
En 1849, Dostoïevski est condamné au bagne pour ses idées. Déporté au sud-ouest de l. a. Sibérie, dans los angeles forteresse d’Omsk, où il passe cinq ans, il y côtoie des criminels et des hommes du peuple, des voleurs aussi bien que des condamnés politiques. De cette expérience douloureuse, où l’impossibilité d’être seul rivalise en cruauté avec les sévices et le travail forcé, l’auteur tire les Récits de l. a. maison des morts.
Dans ce roman largement autobiographique, qu’il fait passer pour des notes retrouvées chez un ancien forçat, Goriantchikov, Dostoïevski déploie une galerie de images où sont anticipés les personnages les plus marquants de ses œuvres majeures. Son humanisme et son sens de l’observation font de ces récits consacrés au système pénitentiaire du temps des tsars un témoignage de première value sur l’expérience concentrationnaire.
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Extra info for Récits de la maison des morts
I look at my mother, but she pretends not to see me. I look at a boy in the aisle, and he makes faces at me. I look at the sunlight coming in at the open door through the porch, and there I see a stray sheep—I don’t mean a sinner, but mutton—half making up his mind to come into the church. I feel that if I looked at him any longer, I might be tempted to say something out loud, and what would become of me then! I look up at the monumental tablets on the wall, and try to think of Mr. Bodgers late of this parish, and what the feelings of Mrs.
No price could make it do. ”—I thought Peggotty would have thrown the candlestick away, she was so emphatic with it. “How can you be so aggravating,” said my mother, shedding more tears than before, “as to talk in such an unjust manner! How can you go on as if it was all settled and arranged, Peggotty, when I tell you over and over again, you cruel thing, that beyond the commonest civilities nothing has passed! You talk of admiration. What am I to do? If people are so silly as to indulge the sentiment, is it my fault?
Your mistress is a little unwell. ” Having issued this mandate with as much potentiality as if she had been a recognized authority in the house ever since it had been a house, and having looked out to confront the amazed Peggotty coming along the passage with a candle at the sound of a strange voice, Miss Betsey shut the door again, and sat down as before, with her feet on the fender, the skirt of her dress tucked up, and her hands folded on one knee. “You were speaking about its being a girl,” said Miss Betsey.