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Dostoyevsky in St Petersburg

Maurits Potappel of Stichting Landmerk about his experiences at the NIP and in St Petersburg

In September 2019, I stayed in Saint Petersburg for nine days for the course ‘Dostoyevski in Saint Petersburg’, organized by Stichting Landmerk in collaboration with the NIP.

Every morning we had lectures in a cozy classroom at the NIP, where we discussed Dostoyevski’s ‘Crime and Punishment’ with a lecturer from Landmark. In the afternoons and evenings we went into the city and got to know the Petersburg culture. It was really valuable to physically be in St Petersburg: we could talk to Russians and experience the actual environment in which Dostoevsky wrote his work, which helped us to better understand what he meant to convey with Crime and Punishment. This gave the lectures a different dimension, which enabled us to really grasp the soul of the book - and thereby also getting to know the famous "Russian soul.”

I really liked St Petersburg: the city became very familiar within a short period of time. Immediately after our departure, I was looking forward to returning: the amount of time I was able to stay there was actually far too short! There is so much beauty to see and learn in this city that you actually doubt the possibility of ever getting to know Petersburg completely.