revistas electrónicas de la Universidad de Granada

"Demons" on the screen

Irina Kuznetsova


Dostoevsky’s Demons is arguably his most difficult novel to transpose to the cinema. Yet, in the last thirty years this novel has been adapted for the screen more frequently than any other of Dostoevsky’s works. This paper juxtaposes two most prominent Russian transformations of this novel: TV-series Demons (2014) by Vladimir’s Khotinenko and Demons: Nikolai Stavrogin (1992) by Igor and Dmitry Talankin. These films offer distinctive conceptions on adapting the novel and illustrate the major differences in approaches to adaptation of classical literary texts at the beginning of the post-Soviet period and during the so called “restoration turn” of 2000s. For example, whereas the Talankins’ film targets a limited audience and engages freely and creatively with the source novel, Khotinenko’s Demons, addresses the mass audience and adheres closely not only to the “hypotext,” but also to Dostoevsky’s letters and notebooks, bringing to the forefront the issues, associated with the “fidelity criticism”. Both films, however, underscore the ongoing relevance of Dostoevsky’s text. But whereas the Talankins’ Demons engages with Russia’s past, affecting its transitional present, Khotinenko draws on Dostoevsky in order to shape a picture of the future. In the end, both films reflect back on the periods of their making, unraveling these periods’ social, political and artistic anxieties.

Palabras clave

Dostoesvky, Demons, film, Khotinenko, the Talankins

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Este trabajo está licenciado bajo la licencia Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 .

ISSN: 1579-8372 | eISSN: 2255-517X