Dostoevsky in Hispanic America

Dostoevsky and I


Fyodor Mikhailovich’s speech on Pushkin (1880) with the writer’s doodles and embellishments.

In 1880, shortly before he died, Dostoevsky gave his famous“Pushkin Speech”at the unveiling of the Pushkin monument in Moscow. Dostoevsky’s famous text provoked his audience to something resembling mass hysteria, momentarily reconciling the feuding intellectual factions of Slavophiles and Westernizers. On that unique literary moment, José Martí Pérez (January 28, 1853 – May 19, 1895) a Cuban national hero and an important figure in Latin American literature, wrote a historical review entitled: ‘Un monumento al hombre que abrió el camino hacia la libertad rusa‘, where the Cuban poet pays homage to Pushkin as: “Un hombre de todos los tiempos y de todos los países, el universo en un solo pecho… no es conocido universalmente porque escribió en ruso, pero una vez conocido, no puede ser olvidado” (A man of all times and all countries, the universe in one breast … not known universally because he wrote in Russian, but once known, it cannot be forgotten )”. Thanks to Alejo Carpentier, who gave me this text, in his last visit to Havana, as an adolescent myself, I discovered the names of the classics of Russian literature, among them, Fyodor Mihailovich Dostoevsky.

On Dostoevsky in “Pushkin: a memorial to the man who blazed the pathway leading to Russian liberty” by José Martí (The Sun New York, 28 August 1880).

Dostoevsky in Hispanic America Today

The best example, regarding current projects on Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky in Spanish America, is the extraordinary work develops by La Sociedad Argentina Dostoievski (SAD), founded in  2015. It pursues the following aims: to promote the study of the life, work and reception of Dostoevsky and to organize workshops, symposiums and conferences devoted to Dostoevsky at a local, national and international levels. Thus: “auspiciar la conformación de una red argentina y latinoamericana que sirva de enlace a todas aquellas personas que se dedican a la lengua, la literatura, la historia, la cultura y la actualidad de los distintos países eslavos.”



In the same spirit of cooperation, Dostoevsky in the Hispanic World intents to cover his presence in the Hispanic World, from Spain to Latin America – from the first Spanish translations of his books to the multiple adaptations of his literary works in the Arts: in music, dance, painting, photography, theatre, cinema and the moving image in general. An important study presented by one of its members is  the following book:

“Dostoievsky: una bibliografía en español” (2006) by Laura Pérez Diatto
Crime & Punishment translations in Spanish America
First Latin American film adaptation of Crime & Punishment. Crimen y Castigo is a 1951 Mexican film directed by Fernando de Fuentes and starring Roberto Cañedo, Lilia Prado and Carlos López Moctezuma.