Pochvennichestvo


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Pochvennichestvo

 

(“grass-roots movement”), a Russian literary and social movement of the 1860’s. It is associated with the raznochintsy (intellectuals of no definite class) writers who were grouped around the journals of the brothers F. M. Dostoevsky and M. M. Dostoevsky, Vremia (Time, 1861–63) and Epokha (Epoch, 1864–65). A. A. Grigor’ev and I. I. Stra-khov were also ideologists and propagandists of pochvenni-chestvo. The term derived from the publicistic writings of F. M. Dostoevsky, with their characteristic appeals to return to the soil, to native and national sources. The pochvennichestvo movement may be traced back to the school of the young editors of the journal Moskvitianin (The Muscovite, 1850–56); ideologically, it was akin to the Slavophiles and their orientation toward the Russian peasantry. However, the pochvenniki also acknowledged some positive aspects in the movement of the Westerniz-ers.

The pochvenniki attacked the serf-owning nobility and the bureaucracy. They advocated a “merging of the educated class with the people” and saw in this the pledge of progress in Russia. The pochvenniki favored the development of industry and trade and the freedom of the individual and the press. While accepting European culture, they also condemned the “corrupt West” with its bourgeois outlook and inner void. They rejected revolutionary socialism and materialism, countering them with Christian ideals, and they polemicized with the journal Sovremennik (The Contemporary). In the 1870’s, traits of pochvennichestvo appeared in the philosophic writings of N. Ia. Danilevskii and in Dostoevsky’s The Diary of a Writer.

REFERENCES

Kirpotin, V. Dostoevskii ν shestidesiatye gody. Moscow, 1966.
Nechaev, V. S. Zhurnal M. M. i F. M. Dostoevskikh, “Vremia”: 1861–1863. Moscow, 1972.

S. S. DMITRIEV

References in periodicals archive ?
This is a question that deeply occupies Dostoevsky well before he sets off to Europe for the first time and is, in large part, connected with the his interest in pochvennichestvo (from "pochva" meaning "[native] soil"), (8) an idea that seeks to mend the rift between the Westerners and the Slavophiles by taking a somewhat more centrist position regarding the intelligentsia and its relationship to European culture.
Petersburg from exile in 1859, Dostoevsky joins with his brother Mikhail Mikhailovich and the critics Apollon Aleksandrovich Grigor'ev and Nikolai Nikolaevich Strakhov in promoting pochvennichestvo through the literary/political journal Vremia (Time), for which they serve as editorial board.
He begins by effectively demonstrating that Dostoevsky's pochvennichestvo, his preference for and belief in the unique future role of his native country, was by no means a logical departure from the writer's Christian convictions and universal vision for humanity.