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"White Nights" by Dostoyevsky, fifth volume of the UPF literary collection

14 Diciembre - 2021
libro Fiódor Dostoyevski

Pompeu Fabra University and UPF Barcelona School of Management are commemorating the bicentenary of the birth of Fyodor Dostoyevsky with the publication of White Nights ("Les nits blanques") –in a bilingual edition in Russian and Catalan–, the fifth work in the Literary Collection of the Culture Program, launched in 2017.

"For the UPF university community to come together around the reading of a classic is an essential collective gesture that opens perspectives and changes points of view", says the Vice Rector for Educational Transformation, Culture and Communication, Manel Jiménez.

UPF and UPF-BSM are commemorating the bicentenary of the birth of Dostoyevsky with the launch of White Nights, co-published with Angle Editorial

Published for the first time with Angle Editorial, current edition offers the original text in Cyrillic alphabet, and the translation from Russian into Catalan by Miquel Cabal Guarro, associate professor of the UPF Department of Translation and Language Science. Pablo Pareja, Serra Húnter Professor of International Relations and Vice Rector for Faculty and Community Relations, is the author of the prologue, while the epilogue is written by Tamara Djermanovic, a specialist in Slavic literature and associate professor of Aesthetics of the UPF Department of Humanities. 

Is Dostoyevsky a contemporary author?

White Nights, written in 1948 after the unexpected success of his first novel, Poor, abandons the tragic universe and the satirical intentionality of his first creations, while exploring another area: teenage love and its vital passion. The tale tells the story of a young couple –lonely, desperate, dreamers– who meet on an unreal night in the streets of St. Petersburg. An experience that leads them to a thought that goes beyond times and generations: is a single happy moment enough for the lifetime of a human being? 

We can read Dostoyevsky as if he were a contemporary author: he has the virtue of describing people and situations that we can recognize

"We can read Dostoyevsky as if he were a contemporary author. He has the virtue of describing people and situations that we can still recognize", says the translator. "The best way to approach any book by Dostoyevsky is from a contemporary perspective", Cabal guarantees. 

In this regard, the head of UPF-BSM Culture Program and UPF Culture Advisor, Mathilde Brodu, believes that the "construction of this work is modern, it challenges us fully". "The author tells stories embedded in other stories: we go from the most tender feelings to the most complex reflections on human relationships and the difficulties to understand them", she adds.  

Five years of classics at UPF-BSM

With White Nights, by Dostoyevsky, the UPF Literary Collection, promoted thanks to the leadership of UPF-BSM, reaches its five volumes. The initiative, which was born in 2017, kicked off with the publication of Bartleby, The Scrivener, by Melville, and continued with Candide ou l'Optimisme, by Voltaire; Il Principe, by Machiavelli; and The Tempest, by Shakespeare.

The collection, after all, opens up a wide range of reflections on the most current issues: new forms of organizations, communication and production; human dignity in an unjust world; conflict resolution and the role of the leader; redemption through work or the artificiality of human nature.

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