Kapustin N. V. To the portrait of Apollinariia Suslova: changing the perception, p. 87-97

Apollinariia Suslova is mostly famous as the strongest passion of Fyodor Dostoevsky as well as the prototype of his female literary characters. She is also known for her difficult relations with her husband Vasiliy V. Rozanov. But the personality of Suslova is interesting not only because of her connection with two geniuses of the Russian literary world. Arkadiy S. Dolinin, Suslov’s first biographer, called her “the most typical representative of her time”. Since then, from the 1920s, Apollinariia was associated by the critics and readers with a certain type of women in the 1860s (“shestidesyatnitsi” — “women of the 1860s”). However, Suslova’s diary and letters of the 1860s, her relations with the contemporaries, and at last, the fact that she served as a prototype of Dostoevsky’s literary characters (who are in no way similar to the people of the 1860s) make Dolinin’s statement debatable. The author of the given article agrees, on the one hand, that Apolinnariia Suslova shared the views typical for Russian intelligentsia of the 1860s. On the other hand, she was more of a unique figure in the social atmosphere of that time. Her worldview, extremes of character, very strong reflection (as a rule not typical for raznochintsi) — all that distuinguishes Apollinariia Suslova among the “new people” of the 1860s. Read in PDF