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 Fyodor Dostoevsky

Born:   30 October 1821
Deceased:   28 January (February 9) 1881

The great novelist and classic of Russian literature


The entire world knows Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), the great novelist and classic of Russian literature, who created the immortal books, such as The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, Crime and Punishment, The Possessed, and others. Creation of Dostoyevsky is the artistic research of personality, of ones ideal essence, ones destiny and future.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born on October 30, 1821 in Moscow, into the family originating from Byelorussia.

In 1843 Dostoevsky for the first time translates and publishes Balzacs huge saga Eugene Grande. A year later he publishes his first book, Poor People and at once becomes famous. His next book, The Double (1846), subtitled A Petersburg Poem, however, faces with the publics incomprehension. After the publication of White Nights (1849) he is arrested as a member of the Petrashevsky Circle and sentenced to death, the penalty fortunately replaced with penal servitude (1850-54).

After that he serves the army as a private soldier and gets married. In 1860 Dostoevsky with his wife and adopted son returns to St. Petersburg, where he is subject to secret surveillance that does not stop until the middle 1870s. From 1860 to 1866 Fyodor Mikhailovich writes for the magazine of his own and his brothers, creates Notes from the Dead House (aka House of the Dead), The Insulted and Humiliated (also translated as The Insulted and the Injured), Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, and Notes from Underground.

Fyodor Dostoevsky In 1864 the writer experiences an overseas journey, devastating roulette gambling, and constant striving for money, and at the same time the death of his wife and his brother.

Finding himself in a financial deadlock, Dostoevsky creates The Crime and Punishment (1866), which is well rewarded with money. To escape from creditors eager to take that money, the writer flees from Russia together with his assistant who becomes his new wife.

The Crime and Punishment, the novel about double murder committed by the wretched student Raskolnikov because of money, becomes the first of the five major novels that bring world fame to the author.

The year 1868 sees the creation of The Idiot, the novel for the first time passionately, vividly and profoundly featuring the image of the positive hero as seen by Fyodor Mikhailovich. Prince Myshkin combines traits of Jesus and a child, pacification bordering on carelessness and at the same time inability to ignore sorrows of his neighbor.

Fyodor Dostoevsky The last years of the writers life turn to be extremely prolific: 1872 The Possessed, 1873 beginning of A Writers Diary (a series of satirical articles, essays, polemical notes and passionate publicistic notes on burning issues), 1875 A Teenager, 1876 The Meek One (one of his best short stories), and 1879-1880 The Brothers Karamazov.

By the early 1880s Dostoevsky gains high moral authority of an outstanding preacher and teacher. The summit of his glory in the lifetime is his speech at the ceremony of unveiling the monument to Pushkin in Moscow (1880), when he speaks about the all-embracing humaneness as the highest expression of the Russian ideal, about the Russian wanderer questing for universal happiness. That speech makes a big stir and is apprehended by the Russian community as the testament of its author. Full of creative plans and ready to start working on the second part of The Brothers Karamazov and publish A Writers Diary, Dostoevsky suddenly dies on January 28 (February 9), 1881 in Saint Petersburg.

Though famous in his lifetime, Fyodor Mikhailovich acquires truly unfading world-wide glory only after his death.

The great writer is laid to rest in Aleksandro-Nevskaya Lavra, St. Petersburg.



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