Dostoevsky depressing? Surely not?

A friend drew my attention to this article in the Times, about a new metro station in Moscow named after Fyodor Dostoevsky. However, it seems that the opening of the station has had to be delayed because it has been decided that the murals decorating the platforms, which are based on scenes from Dostoevsky’s books, are too depressing. There’s a fear that they might encourage people to commit suicide.

Tony Halpin, writing in the Times, explains: “One scene… depicts a man preparing to hit a woman with an axe while another lays dying at his feet — inspired by Rodion Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment. Another shows a man holding a gun to his head — based on The Devils, in which Kirillov commits suicide as a declaration of freedom.”

Actually, having looked at the example shown with the Times article, I think the murals look quite jolly. But maybe that’s just me.

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