On July 3, St. Petersburg will mark the traditional Day of Dostoevsky: a celebration of literature that has been held annually for 12 years. Natalya Ashimbayeva, Director of the St. Petersburg Literature and Memorial Museum of Fyodor Dostoevsky, talked about the preparations and people's expectations during a news conference at the Host City Media Center.
"It turned out that this is an event people living here responded to. There are even people who come here specially to take part in Dostoevsky Day and to see the celebration of literature," she said.
According to Ashimbayeva, various street performances will be among the highlights of this day. Famous characters from the writer's works will be seen on the streets.
"This is a special genre that people have enjoyed a lot. A street performance is not like a theater performance: there is no curtain here, but there is a lot that is special about it. There is a lot of burlesque in these performances; they involve the audience," Ashimbayeva noted and added that the celebrations are held on the first Saturday of July, because this is when the narrative in Crime and Punishment begins.
A range of events will also be held at St. Petersburg museums to mark Dostoevsky Day. The full program is available at dostoevskyday.ru.
In addition to this, the writer's 200th birthday will be marked all over the world, Igor Volgin, President of the Dostoevsky Foundation, Member of the Presidential Council on the Russian Language, said at the news conference. According to Volgin, the 20th century passed under the sign of Dostoevsky. The writer's works become more relevant with every passing year.
"His relevance is only increasing. Dostoyevsky either described or predicted everything that is going on. He unraveled some important traits that do not change over time, so there is every indication that the 21st century will also be the century of Dostoevsky," Volgin said.
Film director, People's Artist of Russia Vladimir Khotinenko asked not to turn Dostoevsky into a monument but to keep him alive, and make his works more accessible with such events as this celebration of literature.