Fyodor Dostoevsky

Author

  • Moscow, Russia

Born Nov. 11, 1821 in Moscow, Russia, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was educated at home until 1833. He studied to be a military engineer, but shortly after graduating decided to become a writer. He experienced traumatic events, including a mock execution and exile. His work explored the human condition and is credited with shaping existentialism. Crime and Punishment is one of his most well-known novels.

Early Life
yodor Dostoevsky, born on 11 November [O.S. 30 October] 1821, was the second child of Dr. Mikhail Dostoevsky and Maria Dostoevskaya (née Nechayeva). He was raised in the family home in the grounds of the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor, which was in a lower class district on the edges of Moscow. Dostoevsky encountered the patients, who were at the lower end of the Russian social scale, when playing in the hospital gardens.

Dostoevsky was introduced to literature at an early age. From the age of three, he was read heroic sagas, fairy tales and legends by his nanny, Alena Frolovna, an especially influential figure in his upbringing and love for fictional stories.

Career
Dostoevsky completed his first novel, Poor Folk, in May 1845. His friend Dmitry Grigorovich, with whom he was sharing an apartment at the time, took the manuscript to the poet Nikolay Nekrasov, who in turn showed it to the renowned and influential literary critic Vissarion Belinsky. Belinsky described it as Russia's first "social novel". Poor Folk was released on 15 January 1846 in the St Petersburg Collection almanac and became a commercial success.

Dostoevsky felt that his military career would endanger his now flourishing literary career, so he wrote a letter asking to resign his post. Shortly thereafter, he wrote his second novel, The Double, which appeared in the journal Notes of the Fatherland on 30 January 1846, before being published in February. Around the same time, Dostoevsky discovered socialism through the writings of French thinkers Fourier, Cabet, Proudhon and Saint-Simon.


Quotes

  • Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.

  • Men do not accept their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and worship those whom they have tortured to death.

  • We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.

  • Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.

  • Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

  • What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.

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