Feeling of Being: A Jungian Reading of Dostoevsky’s Double


Starting from a new definition of existential paranoia, conceived philosophically as an altered form of solipsism or theologically as the revelation of an immanent inferno, we go on to explore the dissociative constitution of Dostoevsky’s novella, The Double (1846). Influenced by the Shakespearean “I am not what I am”, Yakov Petrovich Goliadkin, the main character, builds an intriguing attack on the Jungian category of the persona, which we read as a symptom of indifferentiation. We will also analyze hero’s nightmare, where the conflict between the Ego and the Doppelganger receives a tragic dimension, attempting to evaluate Goliadkin 1 and Goliadkin 2 through Jungian typology. Insights from Philip K. Dick, Emil Cioran, Rainer Maria Rilke or Mihai Eminescu will help us scrutinize the ambiguous and intricate “paranoid feeling of being”.

Keywords: Jung, Dostoevsky, Cioran, existential paranoia, persona

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