Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Doestoevsky train station less than uplifting

Dostoevsky station mural

"The station, called Dostoyevskaya, is decorated with brooding grey and black mosaics which depict violent scenes from the nineteenth century writer's best-known novels.

"One controversial mural re-enacts the moment when the main character in the novel Crime and Punishment murders an elderly pawnbroker and her sister with an axe.

"Another shows a suicide-obsessed character in Dostoevsky's novel The Demons holding a pistol to his temple. If that was not enough to darken the mood, shadowlike characters are shown flitting across the cavernous new station's walls and a giant mosaic of a depressed-looking Dostoevsky stares out at passengers.

"The artist responsible for the murals, Ivan Nikolayev, said he was unrepentant and had trouble understanding his critics. 'What did you want? Scenes of dancing? Dostoevsky does not have them,' he said."