Dostoevsky Day UK

To mark the 150th anniversary of the novel Crime and Punishment, UCL SSEES proudly presented the Inaugural Dostoevsky Day UK, a celebration of Fyodor Dostoevsky & Russian language.


The Inaugural Dostoevsky Day UK was dedicated to UCL-SSEES late colleagues and dear friends: Professor Emeritus Isabel de Madariaga and the Poet Cameron Bain / Our programme explores the life and legacy of the beloved and universal author in the UK.

The opening event took place on 11th November 2016 (on the 195th Anniversary of Dostoevsky’s Birth),  at the UCL Bloomsbury Studio. At 10 am, there was a screening of the documentary Fyodor Dostoevsky (2006 Video), from the series Great Russian Writers, by Kultur International Films. This screening  was followed by the premiere of a theatrical monologue Raskolnikov, which was especially created for our event, by the  actor Jonathan Curry.

The afternoon session took place at the UCL School of Slavonic & East European Studies (UCL SSEES) from 3.00 to 5.00PM, in the Masaryk Senior Common Room.

The session started with the introductory talk by Joshua Clayton (Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers) entitled: Dostoevsky’s  Literary Works  &the Antiquarian Book Trade in London (on the history of the Jarndyce Antiquarian Booksellers, with particular reference to Slavonic & Russian literatures, and ultimately, the arrival of Dostoevsky’s books in London). This was followed by David Magarshack, The Real Author of Crime and Punishment? by Cathy McAteer, a PhD research student at University of Bristol.  Nigel Arthur – BFI National Archive gave a short illustrated talk on some of the key adaptations on Dostoevsky on screen with a selection of posters and stills from UK, Poland Japan and Russia. Arthur focused his presentation on those Russian films that will be part of the Barbican special film retrospective in December, which complements our inaugural Dostoevsky Day UK (DDUK) programme.

At the end of this session, we had a joint presentation by COSEELIS members about materials relating to Dostoevsky in UK libraries, focusing on Crime and Punishment. The session  included presentations prepared by Mel Bach (Cambridge University Library): “Hands Up! : A Crime and Punishment Exhibition in Cambridge” and Katya Rogatchevskaia (British Library): “Dostoevsky at the British Library”, while Wojciech Janik (UCL SSEES Library) presented a library guide focusing on Crime and Punishment, with illustrations facilitated by UCL Special Collections, British Library and Bodleian Library in Oxford University (courtesy  Nick Hearn, Taylor Institution Library and Katya Rogatchevskaya, The British Library ).  A photographic exhibition on St Petersburg by Maria Tolstaia was also planned. For more information, please see

Further events have been scheduled to the 2016 Dostoevsky Day UK:

On 17th November at Rossotrudnichestvo (The Russian Cultural Center in London) at 7. 00 pm, the director Dmitry Turchaninov and his drama group will present fragments based on early works by Fyodor Dostoyevsky from – Netochka Nezvanova, White Nights, Poor Folk – in a form of an open class of acting with immersion into a psychological subtleties of the material, under the title: Evening FM 

Also, Barbican Cinema has created a special film retrospective: Dostoevsky in December  with the following screenings:

Sat 3 Dec 2.00 pm Crime & Punishment (15) USSR 1970 Dir. Lev Kulidzhanov 200 min.

Sun 11 Dec 4.00 pm The Gambler (PG) USSR 1973 Dir. Alexei Batalov 99 min.

Sun 18 Dec 2.00 pm The Brothers Karamazov (15) USSR 1968 Dir. Ivan Pyrev 220 min.

The inaugural Dostoevsky Day UK was supported by the University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL SSEES), the Barbican Center, the Likhachev Foundation-Cultural Fellowships in Russia and the Bloomsbury Theatre.


Vladimir Smith-Mesa

Photo of F.M. Dostoevsky (Courtesy of the F.M.Dostoevsky Literary-Memorial Museum)

Logo & Poster Designed by Zuzana Pinčíková.

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