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The Idiot Allusions & Cultural References
When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
- Nikolai Karamzin, History of the Russian State
- Nikolai Karamzin, Letters of a Russian Traveler
- Russian Orthodox Spiritual Literature ("Menaions")
- Alexander Pushkin, "On Arakcheev"
- Alexander Pushkin, "The Poor Knight" [We couldn't find a good site about this poem—if you can dig up something, let us know.]
- Victor Hugo, "The Last Day of a Man Condemned to Death"
- M. P. Pogodin, "Samples of Old Slavonic-Russian Calligraphy"
- William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (translated by M. N. Katkov)
- Apuleius, The Golden Ass
- Mikhail Lermontov, "The Journalist, the Reader, and the Writer"
- Friedrich Schiller, Cabal and Love
- Alexandre Dumas père, The Three Musketeers
- The New Testament of the Bible, almost all the Books
- Heinrich Heine, The History of Religion and Philosophy in Germany
- Alexandre Dumas fils, La Dame aux Camelias
- Sergei Solovyov, History of Russia from Ancient Times
- Alexander Griboedov, Woe from Wit
- N. G. Chernyshevsky, What Is to Be Done?
- Blaise Pascal, Thoughts on Religion and on Several Other Subjects
- Nikolai Gogol, The Marriage
- Nikolai Gogol, "Nevsky Prospect"
- Nikolai Gogol, "Dead Souls"
- Moliere, George Dandin
- Alexander Herzen, From My Past and Thought
- Cervantes, Don Quixote
- Thomas Malthus
- Paul de Kock
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
- The Bolshoi (Mariinksy) Opera Theater in St. Petersburg
- The Great Horde (the Mongol Empire)
- "The Beheading of John the Baptist" (painting by Hans Fries)
- The Crimean War (1853-56)
- Danilov, a murderer whose crime was very similar to that of Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment (the real-life crime came after the novel)
- Mazurin, a murderer who killed a jeweler with a razor
- Gorsky, a murderer who killed the family of the boy he was tutoring
- Balabanov, a murderer who killed a tradesman for his watch
- Lacenaire, a famous, vicious, and sadistic murderer (and poet)
- The Comtesse du Barry, mistress of Louis XV
- "Christ's Body in the Tomb" (painting by Holbein)
- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, French social theorist and anarchist who coined the phrase, "Property is theft!"
- Pushkin's duel with George d'Anthes
- Napoleon (you might have heard of him)
- The Battle of Waterloo
- The War of 1812
- The Freemasons
- The Jesuit Order
- Talleyrand, French statesman and famously brilliant tactician