Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Suffering Games: De Quincean Transgression and Self-Production in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Igrok (The Gambler)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of The Dostoevsky Journal

This paper compares Dostoevsky’s The Gambler (1866) to certain features of Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821) to show that the two texts demonstrate the emergence of a simulacral culture of the modern self. The De Quincean model of subjectivity is presented as a prototype of the modern self before The Gambler is investigated in its light. Insofar as the self is constructed in the context of social environments, modernity is characterized by a mimetic mode we might call intensity, where the modern self finds and creates its identity through repetitive patterns of mediated experience. In particular, it is argued that the first-person narrators of Confessions and The Gambler exemplify the obsessive cycle of self-production—a characteristically modern addiction to the decentring and multiplication of the self, rooted in the need for the intoxicating effect of strong sensations and imaginary experience. Self-production functions in a cycle of passion, transgression, and suffering, followed by anticipation of change and renewal, on a par, psychologically, with rebirth or resurrection. The major difference between the works is that, while Confessions emphasizes the causality of social conditions, The Gambler is predicated on the uniquely Russian sense of destiny (sud’ba).

Affiliations: 1: The University of Texas at Arlington,


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    The Dostoevsky Journal — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation