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Fyodor Dostoyevsky Festival Set For Feb. 6-7 in Anatol Center

Published: January 15, 2009

The Fyodor Dostoyevsky Festival sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts to honor the life and work of Russia’s great 19th century novelist arrives at CSULB on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6-7, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. in the Karl Anatol Center. Admission is free.

“This festival is an attempt to instigate cultural and intellectual exchange steered by the Dostoyevsky connoisseurs among the scholars of leading U.S. universities and our guests from Russia led by the novelist’s great-great-grandson Alexey,” said festival co-chair Harold Schefski, a member of the Romance/German/Russian Languages and Literatures Department (RGRLL ) since 1986.

Other guests will include Igor Volgin, president of the Dostoyevsky Foundation in Moscow and a faculty member of Moscow State University, painter Sergei Morozov and professional reader A. Dobrovolski.

“Morozov will bring a specially commissioned painting of the writer which we hope to auction to support the program,” said Schefski. “I thank the university and the community for their support to bring these guests to campus.”

The program opens on Friday, Feb. 6, with remarks by College of Liberal Arts Dean Gerry Riposa and RGRLL Chair Lisa Vollendorf, followed by Dobrovolsky reading a speech by Dostoyevsky titled “Tribute to the Monument of Pushkin.”

Other activities will include the screening of a biographical film about Dostoyevsky, a review of the author’s life by Moscow State University’s Volgin, a roundtable discussion of the author’s survival of hard labor in Siberia, another discussion of the author’s philosophical views of German culture and a screening of the film “Demons” based on the author’s novel.

On Saturday, Feb. 7, the session opens with a welcome by co-chairs Alex Yahontov and Schefski followed by an address by Dostoyevsky great-great-grandson Alexey on his participation in the 1988 film “Boys” based on a chapter of “The Brothers Karamazov” and a screening of the film. Also on tap will be a screening of the 1958 Hollywood film version of “The Brothers Karamazov” starring Yul Brynner.

Fyodor Dostoyesvky

The conference concludes that evening with a biennial gala dinner hosted by program donor Gail Hutton at her Huntington Beach home to benefit the Russian Studies Endowment at CSULB.

Schefski applauded the conference’s arrival at CSULB and encouraged both community and university participation. “There is something for everyone here,” he said.