The article analyzes the Bitovian reception of the book by F. Dostoevsky's "Notes from the Dead House". The subject of the study is the influence of F. Dostoevsky’s work on the conscience of the writer's contemporaries and on the literature of the twentieth century, in which the theme of penal servitude evolved in the works by O. Volkov, A. Solzhenitsyn, Yu.Dombrovsky, L. Gabyshev. It is emphasized that for A. Bitov the work of the Russian classic became the starting point in understanding the literary process in the context of the national history of the XIX-XX centuries, in which reality was often perceived in the context of the "stalag" theme. Special attention is paid to the Bitovian theory of the kinship of the concepts "island" and "prison" in the light of the experience of "imprisonment" and its overcoming by F. Dostoevsky’s Robinson-convict. The article analyzes the specifics of the Russian conscience, in which "island" and "prison" converge in their mutual transformations and transitions from freedom to non-freedom, from "thought" about liberation to "behavior", which, according to A. Bitov, leads to the transformation of the image of the author of" Notes from the Dead House "from" new Robinson "to"new Gulliver". With the peculiarities of Bitov's understanding of F. Dostoevsky’s personality the author of the article connects the problem of self-identification of the writer-critic, whose" island " orientation is formed by the topography of the place (Vasilievsky Island) where A. Bitov was born and grew up. The author studies the originality of compositional techniques, improvisations and digressions from the topic, and notes A. Bitov’s skill as an essayist and literary analyst, who synthesized in an essay dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the publication of the book by F. Dostoevsky, elements of various critical genres.
Bitov, Dostoevsky, hard labor, Robinson, island, history.