Reading the novel "Demons" by F.M. Dostoevsky with Ratibor Trivunac

Cultural center REX, Maksima Gorkog 17a

09. 12. 2019 19:00

The Russian aristocracy lives the monotonous life of the titularly sectioned province. The solemn routine of its hegemony is disrupted by liberal and socialist ideas, arriving from the post-revolutionary West and reinforced by local opportunities for the beginnings of industrialization and modernization under constraints of the petrified framework of despotism. Groups of younger, protesting and anti-systemic people use the rigidity and decadence of the regime to spread emancipatory ideas across all social strata. Finding in the same time support and hesitation and resistance, they are forced to deeply re-examine Russian society and its newly awakened socio-psychological "soul". The contradictions and concerns of organizing, agitating and acting end in either spontaneous or forced and improvised provocations, betrayals, defamation, condemnations and liquidations. In such a historically immature pre-revolutionary matrix, the famous author inscribes his views on the political ideas of the time, inserting them into the thoughts, works and words of a gallery of colorful characters.

During the reading of "Demons" with Ratibor Trivunac, this creative process and its political aspects will be analyzed, in the light of a more thorough knowledge of the history of ideas that Dostoevsky uses and presents in the work. In anticipation that critical analysis will prevail, we anticipate the "calling the work out", but also the "calling in" those "demons" that Dostoevsky avoided or failed to present in a dignified way, and which today may be burdened by the constraints and rigidity of the capitalist periphery regime.

Meetings will be held once a week and for each it will be needed to read 50-60 pages of text, which will then be critically analyzed and discussed. Interested readers outside Belgrade and Serbia will also be able to participate via the Internet in the following ways: by sending questions and comments regarding the read text before the meeting in Rex; listening to a summary of the discussion, which will be available in audio format (also in English) the day after the discussion; by posting questions and comments on the fb event after the discussion.


In order to participate in the discussion at the first meeting, it is necessary to read the First Chapter and the five parts of the Second Chapter (about 60 pages depending on the issue). Pdf in Serbian is available at the link below or on request in the inbox. Ahead of the discussion and analysis, Ratibor Trivunac will have a brief presentation on the impact of the lives of Nechayev and Dostoevsky on the conception and genesis of this work. As a preparation, it is also recommended to get acquainted with their biographies on Wikipedia (not as relevant but as a globally popular source).


Ratibor Trivunac (1981), an antiquarian librarian and publisher at the Baraba Book Publishing Association in Belgrade (www.baraba.rs); specialized in the labor and socialist movement and the avant-garde. He has been active in the local and international anarchist movement (www.iwa-ait.org) for decades. Member of the Program Council of the Center for Libertarian Studies (https://www.facebook.com/laboratorija.slobode/).


Illustration: Nechayev's House. By Unknown - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikivoyage/en/0/0b/Passport_3700010000.pdf, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=66821292


BIBLIOTALK is a program of the Rex Cultural Center that encourages joint / group reading and analysis of popular and specialist literature. This year, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Center, the program is dedicated to examining the relationship between activism and the arts.