Relating to the studies of CC202 is an article by Eric Naiman discussing a supposed encounter between Dostoevsky and Dickens. Here is an extract:
I have been teaching courses on Dostoevsky for over two decades, but I had never come across any mention of this encounter. Although Dostoevsky is known to have visited London for a week in 1862, neither his published letters nor any of the numerous biographies contain any hint of such a meeting. Dostoevsky would have been a virtual unknown to Dickens. It isn’t clear why Dickens would have opened up to his Russian colleague in this manner, and even if he had wanted to, in what language would the two men have conversed? (It could only have been French, which should lead one to wonder about the eloquence of a remembered remark filtered through two foreign tongues.) Moreover, Dostoevsky was a prickly, often rude interlocutor. He and Turgenev hated each other. He never even met Tolstoy. Would he have sought Dickens out? Would he then have been silent about the encounter for so many years, when it would have provided such wonderful fodder for his polemical journalism?
Apparently, not everyone at the New York Times was indifferent to the authenticity of the episode… Queried by that paper about it, Tomalin returned to her research notes and soon admitted that she might have been the victim of a hoax. Responding to charges of unbecoming gullibility levelled at her by Deborah Friedell in the London Review of Books (“She might have been less susceptible had she not so badly wanted it to be true”), Tomalin defended herself by saying that she had found the account “irresistible” and had relied on the scholarship of others.
The article proceeds to further investigate the origins of this interesting account. A worthy read.
For the full article, visit bit.ly/15oUZWp.