Inaction as theme and structure in Dostoyevsky's "Notes from underground" and Melville's "Bartleby, the scrivener"
Çenebaşı, Ergin (2010) Inaction as theme and structure in Dostoyevsky's "Notes from underground" and Melville's "Bartleby, the scrivener". [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1304402 (Table of Contents)
This study aims to reveal the significance of inaction on both thematic and structural levels in Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener" and Dostoyevsky's "Notes from Underground". It explores the ways in which inertia, as the dominant theme of both works, affects the responses of readers and critics. It focuses primarily on the bipolarity inherent in the concept of inaction, which brings binary opposites together. Drawing on the key terms acedia, ressentiment and potentiality, it examines various causes and consequences of this bipolarity with a special emphasis on its anti-dialectical nature. Posing inaction as the problem not only of the protagonists, but also of the readers and critics, this study underlines the correspondence between theme and structure which characterizes both works. Although it identifies inaction as the main commonality between the two short novels, it points out the fundamental differences separating the ways in which inaction functions within each work.
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