In the World of the Outcasts

In the World of the Outcasts

Notes of a Former Penal Laborer, Volume I

By Pëtr Filippovich Iakubovich
Introduction by Andrew A. Gentes
Translated by Andrew A. Gentes

Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

This is the first English-language translation of P. F. Iakubovich’s popular roman à clef about his exile and experiences as a Siberian penal laborer during the late nineteenth century.

Hardback, 306 Pages

ISBN:9781783081110

February 2014

£80.00, $130.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links
  • Podcasts

About This Book

Pëtr F. Iakubovich was born in Novgorod Province to a noble family in 1860, during a period of upheaval in Russia called the Great Reforms. In 1884, he was arrested and convicted as a member of the terrorist organization the People’s Will. Iakubovich spent five years at a Siberian penal labor prison, followed by several more as a forced settler in Tobolsk Province. He began writing about his experiences while still in prison. The book he eventually produced is a quasi-fictionalized memoir loosely modeled on Dostoyevsky’s “Notes from a Dead House.”

Iakubovich represents himself through his protagonist Ivan Nikolaevich. For most of Volume One, Ivan Nikolaevich must deal, as an imprisoned nobleman, with a population largely comprised of violent criminals. As commoners, these are people with whom he barely interacted in his earlier life, but he is now living cheek-by-jowl with them. His conflicts and faux pas with Buzzy, Goncharov, the cousins Burenkov et al. are by turns comic and dreadful. Ivan Nikolaevich nevertheless manages to befriend several and to learn their life stories. Iakubovich uses these character vignettes to cast light on Imperial Russia’s underclass. Though his circumstances do not afford the privileges he previously enjoyed, Ivan Nikolaevich does enjoy unusual access to the lonely and jaded prison commandant, Luchezarov—better known to prisoners as “Six-Eyes.” But despite his verbal jousts with Luchezarov, Ivan Nikolaevich finds himself contemplating suicide.

Volume Two begins with the arrival at the prison of two fellow revolutionaries—Dmitrii Shteinhart and Valerian Bashurov. Ivan Nikolaevich is overjoyed to find himself with like-minded compatriots, and the three self-styled reformers take it upon themselves to undermine Luchezarov’s increasingly despotic management and to improve conditions for all the prisoners. Several conflicts emerge, and Iakubovich uses these to both parody and indict the penal justice system and Russian bureaucracy. Finally, Luchezarov is forced from office and the prison regime he installed is condemned by a superior. Soon after, Ivan Nikolaevich leaves prison for forced settlement. This much briefer section of the work concerns his difficulty in readjusting to life outside prison and his joy at being joined by his sister (in real life, she was Iakubovich’s fiancée). The book ends with a melancholy reflection on the human destruction wrought by the tsarist penal system.

Reviews

No reviews for this title.

Author Information

Pëtr F. Iakubovich was a Russian dissident imprisoned in the late nineteenth century.

Andrew A. Gentes is an historian and translator who lives with his wife in New Hampshire.

Series

Anthem Series on Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; A Note on Transliteration; Characters; In Place of a Foreword; ON THE THRESHOLD: Part I; Part II; Part III; Part IV; Part V; SHELAI MINE: The Encounter; First Night; First Day’s Impressions and Understandings; Inside the Barrel-Organ; In the Mine’s Depths; We Begin; Prison Workdays; My School Begins; Malakhov and Goncharov; My Students the Burenkovs; Semënov; Reading the Bible, Iashka-the-Marmot, The Poet, The Penal Laborer; Chirok; Luchezarov; Great Poets Face the “Katorga” Tribunal; Shah Lamas; The Usual Outcome; In the Mining Gallery; THE LITTLE EAGLE OF FERGANA; SOLITUDE: In a New Ward, Innocents and Brutes; Efimov, A Prison Sophist and Mephistopheles; Demons of Evil and Destruction; New Students, Lunkov; Sakhalin Disturbances; Nikifor’s Romance, The Send-Off; Escapes and First Blood; The Wagger Amuses Me; A Massacre of Women and Innocents; A Curious Conversation; Hitting Back; Shelai’s Guests; Night; Notes

Links

No Podcasts for this title.

Latest Tweets

  • Out Now! Individuals and Small Groups in Jewish Resistance to the Holocaust aims to increase our knowledge and deep… https://t.co/2NdLRyjbHu

    - 20:04:35 on 18/01/2023
  • Available Now! This book juxtaposes the fall of the Roman Republic with the contemporary political landscape of the… https://t.co/uwj465qrhw

    - 20:04:35 on 18/01/2023
  • Available Now! The Essential Book of Business and Life Quotations is a book of quotations for executives, academics… https://t.co/jlItDPXN8b

    - 20:04:35 on 18/01/2023
  • Out Now! Two Thousand Thoughts is about formulating insights on various matters one encounters in a succinct form t… https://t.co/Hv9jCjmcrF

    - 20:04:35 on 18/01/2023
  • Available Now! Portuguese and Amsterdam Sephardic Merchants in the Tobacco Trade is a history of the role of Portug… https://t.co/C8Den6sv4Q

    - 20:04:35 on 18/01/2023
  • Out Now! The Politics of Public Opinion offers an interesting take on how public opinion has risen in the nineteent… https://t.co/hWk5bJqa6v

    - 20:04:35 on 18/01/2023
  • Out Now! The Ethics of Personal Data Collection in International Relations explains how the COVID-19 pandemic makes… https://t.co/dzC8xfHdwU

    - 20:04:35 on 10/01/2023
  • Available Now! Personal Data Collection Risks in a Post-Vaccine World observes that in key texts written to teach i… https://t.co/TfJi6lojp0

    - 20:04:35 on 10/01/2023
  • Out Now! The Anthem Companion to Peter Berger analyses the work of one of the most prominent sociologists of the pa… https://t.co/9HqRe3zv06

    - 20:04:35 on 10/01/2023
  • Available Now! Negotiation for Entrepreneurship provides insights about negotiation for start-up entrepreneurs and… https://t.co/zbS8gkdV7J

    - 20:04:35 on 10/01/2023

Comodo SSL