Unit 7 - Dostoevsky_Intro_Material - (from...

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(from: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/fdosto.htm) Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) Russian novelist, journalist, short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human soul had a profound influence on the 20th century novel. Dostoevsky's novels have much autobiographical elements, but ultimately they deal with moral and philosophical questions. He presented interacting characters with contrasting views or ideas about freedom of choice, Socialism , atheism, good and evil, happiness and so forth. Dostoevsky's central obsession was God, whom his characters constantly search through painful errors and humiliations. His other works include: Notes from Underground (1864), a psychological study of an outsider, Crime and Punishment (1866), an account of an individual's fall and redemption, The Idiot (1868- 69), depicting a Christ-like figure, Prince Myshkin, through whom the author revealed the spiritual bankruptcy of Russia, and The Possessed (1872), an exploration of philosophical nihilism * * * (from: http://www.bibliomania.com/0/0/235/1030/frameset.html) Dostoevsky’s Life Dostoevsky was the son of a doctor. His parents were very hardworking and deeply religious people, but so poor that they lived with their five children in only two rooms. The father and mother spent their evenings in reading aloud to their children, generally from books of a serious character. Though always sickly and delicate Dostoevsky came out third in the final examination of the Petersburg School of Engineering. There he had already begun his first work, “Poor Folk.” This story was published by the poet Nekrasov in his review and was received with acclamations. The shy, unknown youth found himself instantly something of a celebrity. A brilliant and successful career seemed to open before him, but these hopes were soon dashed. In 1849 he was arrested . Though neither by temperament nor conviction a revolutionist, Dostoevsky was one of a little group of young men who met together to read Fourier ( my note: nineteenth century French social- utopian thinker ) and Proudhon ( my note: nineteenth-century French anarchist ). He was accused of “taking part in conversations against the censorship, of reading a letter from Belinsky ( my note: nineteenth-century Russian writer, literary critic, philosopher and revolutionary activist ) to Gogol ( my note: nineteenth-century Russian writer—his best known work, Dead Souls , is often seen as the first modern Russian novel ), and of knowing of the intention to set up a printing press.” Under
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