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The Life Of Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

Fyodor Dostoevsky was one of the most famous and respected writers of the 19th century, regarded for his philosophical leanings and psychologically complex characters. He was born in 1821 to a middle-class life, but lost his mother to tuberculosis at an early age. He attended the Nikolaev Military Engineering Institute, where he studied engineering, but was so attracted to art and religious studies that he earned the nickname "Monk Photius". He moonlighted as a writer as he worked as an engineer and published his first novel, Poor Folk, in 1846. This did well enough to encourage him to leave the military and become a full-time writer.

However, during the next few years, Dostoevsky also became interested in politics and joined the Petrashevsky Circle, a small social group that shared ideas about socialism. While Dostoevsky had no political ambitions, the Russian government was not a fan of any talk of dissent and arrested the entire circle. After eight long months in prison, Dostoevsky was finally released from his cell only to go to Semyonovsky Square, where he and others were informed that he had been sentenced to death and that they were to face firing squad. were supposed. However, as the guns went up, a messenger arrived with a last-minute decree of Tsar Nicholas I sparing his life.


At least, that's what the prisoners had to believe—the whole thing was a hoax. He was never sentenced to death, instead being sent to a Siberian work camp for four years, but Dostoevsky was later drafted into the army, so he didn't actually return for a full 10 years. During this time, he also developed epileptic seizures, the experience of which he included in one of his greatest works, The Idiot (with a depiction of the execution). He soon moved out of Russia to explore Western Europe and, hopefully, avoid any further imprisonment for his ideas.

His first major classic was 1864's Notes from the Underground, a novel that deals with issues of free will in society, but his most famous work, Crime and Punishment, was actually released in chunks via the Russian Messenger in 1866. While a success for the magazine, Dostoevsky didn't even make enough money to cover his debt, so his wife sold most of his jewelry and valuables. The following year, he released The Idiot in the same fashion, although he eventually had to burn his manuscript to avoid issues with Russian customs upon his return to the homeland.


Dostoevsky wrote The Possessed, a.k.a. Wrote also. The Demons, during this long honeymoon across Europe, thus produced three of their greatest works in just eight years. Of course, his magnum opus, the famous doorstop the Brothers Karamazov, took a long time not to be released until 1880. The ambitious effort was taking a toll on his health, or perhaps he only stayed as long as he needed to make it happen. , as his seizures soon worsened, his overall health declined steadily, and on February 6, 1881, he suffered a pulmonary hemorrhage while looking for a pen holder. He stood still long enough to say goodbye to his family before dying a few hours later.

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