Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Easton Press Fyodor Dostoevsky books

The Brothers Karamazov - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1979
Crime and Punishment - 100 Greatest Books Ever Written - 1980
The Idiot - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1984
The Possessed - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1987
The House of The Dead - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1994
The Gambler / Notes From Underground - The Collector's Library of Famous Editions - 1997

Franklin Library Fyodor Dostoevsky books

Crime and Punishment - 100 Greatest Books of All Time - 1975
Crime and Punishment - World's Best Loved Books - 1978
The Brothers Karamazov - Great Books of the Western World - 1978
Stories - Collected Stories of the World's Greatest Writers - 1979
The Brothers Karamazov - Oxford Library of The World's Greatest Books - 1985


Fyodor Dostoevsky biography

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, (1821-81), was a Russian novelist, born in Moscow, and educated at the School of Military Engineers, St. Petersburg (now Leningrad). He was commissioned a sub lieutenant in 1841 and upon his graduation in 1843 was appointed a government post. He resigned the following year to devote himself to literature.

Fyodor Dostoevsky's first novel, Poor Folf 1846, won him instant recognition as one of the most promising of the younger Russian writers. Despite poverty and incipient epilepsy, he produced another novel, The Double 1846, and several short stories in quick succession. However these writings disappointed the critics, and his popularity waned.

Alienated from other men of letters by their criticism and ridicule, Dostoevsky was prompted by loneliness to associate himself with a group of young revolutionary socialist known as the Petrashevski circle. He and other members of the group were arrested in the wave of repression that swept Russia following the revolts in Europe in 1848. After eight months of imprisonment, they were tried (1849) and sentenced to death. Moments before the condemned men were to be shot they received a reprieve, which had been signed by the czar three days earlier but had been kept secret on his orders until the time of execution. Fyodor Dostoevsky's sentence was commuted to four years of hard labor in a Siberian penal colony and four years of military service in the ranks. The ordeal before the firing squad greatly aggravated his epilepsy and for the rest of his life he suffered seizures of disabling intensity.

Fyodor Dostoevsky spent four years in a penal settlement near Omsk and an additional two and a half years as an army private and non-commissioned officer. During the period of his imprisonment he renounced his socialist dreams and became devoutly religious and ardently nationalistic. Fusing nationalism and religion, he virtually deified the Russian people, conceiving them as bearers of the Truth and as destined, through their sufferings, to save mankind.

Fyodor Dostoevsky married Maria Isaeva, a widow, while serving as a soldier in Siberia. The marriage was unhappy. Through the influence of an old school mate who had become a general, his commission was restored in 1856, but he was required to remain in Siberia three more years.

Returning to St. Petersburg in 1859, he resumed his literary career. In 1861 he published Memoirs from the House of the Dead, a thinly fictionalized account of his bitter experiences in Siberia. The same year Feodor Dostoevsky, together with his brother Mikhail, started a literary review, Vremya (Time), in which his novel The Insulted and Injured (1862) first appeared. Though its editorial policy was strongly nationalistic, the magazine aroused official suspicion, and in May, it was suppressed.

Fyodor Dostoevsky meanwhile had become intimate with Apollinaria Soslova, an emancipated, emotionally unstable girl twenty years his junior. He toured Europe with her, at the same time indulging a passion for gambling, but he lost both his mistress and his money. Upon his return to Russia late in 1863, Fyodor Dostoevsky and his brother started a new review, Epokha (Epoch). Mikhail died shortly there after, and Epokha failed, leaving Dostoevsky overwhelmed with debts. He was compelled to write at great speed to satisfy his creditors. During this period he also had to nurse his wife, who was dying of consumption. In spite of the pressures in which he worked, Fyodor Dostoevsky's genius quickly reached full maturity. In 1864, the year his wife died, the first of his great novels, Notes from the Underworld, was published, Crime and Punishment, probably his best known work, appeared in 1866.

Fyodor Dostoevsky married his 21-year-old secretary, Anna Snitkina, in 1867 and went to Europe with her to escape his creditors. He lived abroad until 1871, gambling and writing furiously. His wife's devotion and business ability enabled him eventually to put his finances in order.

After returning home, he wrote for a conservative weekly and published a journal of his own, A Writer's Diary, which achieved popularity. Toward the end of his life he became fairly affluent. His final triumph came when, in 1880, he was selected to deliver the main address at the unveiling of a memorial to the Russian poet Aleksander Sergeevich Pushkin. Fyodor Dostoevsky's death the following year occasioned a nationwide demonstration of homage and sorrow. His most important novels, in addition to Notes from the Underworld and Crime and punishment, and The Idiot (1868), The Possessed (1871), and the Brothers Karamazov (1880), which is generally considered his masterpiece.

Fyodor Dostoevsky ranks with Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy as the greatest of Russian novelist. Most critics regard him as among the three or four greatest of all novelists. He penetrated the minds and hearts of men with amazing insight, anticipating the scientific findings of Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud and other pioneers in the field of abnormal psychology. Fyodor Dostoevsky's main characters, all vividly realized, lead lives of almost unbearable intensity. They ask anguished questions of God about the basic human concerns, about the problems of evil, of responsibility, of guilt, and of freedom. They do not merely discuss ideas; they suffer them, lacerating themselves and each other with the thoughts that possess them. For the sake of their thoughts, they form revolutionary conspiracies, commit horrible crimes, go mad, and destroy themselves. Most of Fyodor Dostoevsky's later novels are exciting stories of crime and suspense, thrillers; but what is most exciting about them is not so much the surface action as the momentous spiritual struggles that go on beneath. A seminal thinker who profoundly influenced the modern intellectual climate, Dostoevsky produced in his novels an amalgam of thought and feeling more perfect than any so far achieved in literature.


Crime and Punishment

Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck. Only Sonya, a downtrodden sex worker, can offer the chance of redemption.

The Brothers Karamazov

The Brothers Karamazov is a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and an exploration of erotic rivalry in a series of triangular love affairs involving the “wicked and sentimental” Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov and his three sons the impulsive and sensual Dmitri; the coldly rational Ivan; and the healthy, red-cheeked young novice Alyosha. Through the gripping events of their story, Dostoevsky portrays the whole of Russian life, is social and spiritual striving, in what was both the golden age and a tragic turning point in Russian culture.

The Idiot

Returning to Russia from a sanitarium in Switzerland, the Christ-like epileptic Prince Myshkin finds himself enmeshed in a tangle of love, torn between two women the notorious kept woman Nastasya and the pure Aglaia both involved, in turn, with the corrupt, money-hungry Ganya. In the end, Myshkin’s honesty, goodness, and integrity are shown to be unequal to the moral emptiness of those around him.

The Possessed (Demons)

Inspired by the true story of a political murder that horrified Russians in 1869, Fyodor Dostoevsky conceived of Demons as a "novel-pamphlet" in which he would say everything about the plague of materialist ideology that he saw infecting his native land. What emerged was a prophetic and ferociously funny masterpiece of ideology and murder in pre-revolutionary Russia.

The House of The Dead

Accused of political subversion as a young man, Fyodor Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years of hard labor at a Siberian prison camp a horrifying experience from which he developed this astounding semi-autobiographical memoir of a man condemned to ten years of servitude for murdering his wife.
As with a number of the author's other works, this profoundly influential novel brilliantly explores his characters' thoughts while probing the depths of the human soul. Describing in relentless detail the physical and mental suffering of the convicts, Dostoevsky's character never loses faith in human qualities and the goodness of man.
A haunting and remarkable work filled with wonder and resignation, The House of the Dead ranks among the Russian novelist's greatest masterpieces. Of this powerful autobiographical novel, Tolstoy wrote, "I know no better book in all modern literature."

Notes From Underground

Dostoevsky’s most revolutionary novel, Notes from Underground marks the dividing line between nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction, and between the visions of self each century embodied. One of the most remarkable characters in literature, the unnamed narrator is a former official who has defiantly withdrawn into an underground existence. In complete retreat from society, he scrawls a passionate, obsessive, self-contradictory narrative that serves as a devastating attack on social utopianism and an assertion of man’s essentially irrational nature.

The Gambler

In this dark and compelling short novel, Dostoevsky tells the story of Alexey Ivanovitch, a young tutor working in the household of an imperious Russian general. Alexey tries to break through the wall of the established order in Russia, but instead becomes mired in the endless downward spiral of betting and loss. His intense and inescapable addiction is accentuated by his affair with the General’s cruel yet seductively adept niece, Polina. In The Gambler, Dostoevsky reaches the heights of drama with this stunning psychological portrait.

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