International Scientific Conference “Dostoevsky and Italy”
The 2nd international scientific conference “Dostoevsky and Italy” was dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the birth of the globally acclaimed writer.
The event was organized by Moscow State Institute of Culture and moderated by Irina Dergacheva, Doctor of Philological Sciences, a specialist in intercultural communication, textual studies, works by Dostoevsky, author of an Italian language textbook.
The conference was held on-site and online in the Russian and Italian languages. The event convened enthusiasts and scholars of Dostoevsky from Italy (Verona, Florence, Pisa, Palermo, Catania) and Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Staraya Russa, Kazan, and Petrozavodsk). Stefano Aloe, the Vice-President of the International Dostoevsky Society (IDS), Associate Professor of the University of Verona, editor-in-chief of the IDS journal Dostoevsky’s Studies talked about Dostoevsky’s influence on Italian culture. From the beginning of the 20th century, the names of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy have become the lifeblood for Italian culture. Dostoevsky was enthusiastic about Italy and its culture and has visited Rome, Naples, Milan, Venice, Trieste, Turin, Livorno, Genoa, Bologna. All the same, the most significant city for his work turned out to be Florence. Florentine psychoanalyst Valentina Supino, author of research papers on teenage issues in Dostoevsky’s works, shared the results of her search for addresses and apartments of the writer in Florence, where he had stayed during his visit to Italy in 1868-1869. Professor Giuseppe Astuto from Catania described images of Italy in Dostoevsky’s Winter Notes on Summer Impressions.
At the conference, Petrozavodsk State University was represented by two participants. The plenary session was opened by Professor of the Institute of Philology, President Emeritus of the International Dostoevsky Society Vladimir Zakharov who presented his report on “Italian affairs” in international reviews of the writer, noting his activities as a journalist and a political observer. The Head of the Web-Laboratory Irina Andrianova talked about the writer’s wife as one of the first women collectors and reviewed her collection of autographs of Russian and foreign prominent figures. The researcher highlighted that the unique collection, built by Anna Dostoevskaya with the help of her husband, is stored in the Manuscript Department of the Russian State Library in Moscow, yet the Web-Laboratory of PetrSU has its digital copies. Irina Andrianova showed and described autographs in the Italian language. These are letters of renowned people of Italy: from Verona-born poet Aleardo Aleardi to the artist De Sanctis; from Ricciotti Garibaldi, the son of the famous Guiseppe Garibaldi, to Aleksandra Jacobi (Peshkova-Toliverova), member of the Garibaldi movement; from the singer of Italian opera Elisa Volpini to Aleksandra Jacobi; from the Italian tragedian Ernesto Rossi to Aleksandra Jacobi; from the renowned Italian writer, Nobel Prize winner in Literature, an admirer of the works by Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekhov, and Gorky, Grazia Deledda to Anna Dostoevskaya.
The researchers from Italy took interest in the manuscripts from the collection in their native language and offered cooperation in translating the letters into Russian. The conference featured a presentation of the website Dostoevsky and Italy. The participants expressed their wish to hold this event annually, which will allow joining efforts of Russian and Italian researchers in studies of the works and biography of the great writer and thinker and facilitate the propagation of his humane ideas.