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In , on the recommendation of the poet Aleksey Pleshcheyev ,  he joined the Petrashevsky Circle , founded by Mikhail Petrashevsky , who had proposed social reforms in Russia.
Mikhail Bakunin once wrote to Alexander Herzen that the group was "the most innocent and harmless company" and its members were "systematic opponents of all revolutionary goals and means". In , the first parts of Netochka Nezvanova , a novel Dostoevsky had been planning since , were published in Annals of the Fatherland , but his banishment ended the project. Dostoevsky never attempted to complete it. Dostoevsky was accused of reading works by Belinsky, including the banned Letter to Gogol ,  and of circulating copies of these and other works.
Antonelli, the government agent who had reported the group, wrote in his statement that at least one of the papers criticised Russian politics and religion. Dostoevsky responded to these charges by declaring that he had read the essays only "as a literary monument, neither more nor less"; he spoke of "personality and human egoism" rather than of politics. Even so, he and his fellow "conspirators" were arrested on 23 April at the request of Count A. The members were held in the well-defended Peter and Paul Fortress , which housed the most dangerous convicts.
They sentenced the members of the circle to death by firing squad, and the prisoners were taken to Semyonov Place in St Petersburg on 23 December where they were split into three-man groups. Dostoevsky was the third in the second row; next to him stood Pleshcheyev and Durov. The execution was stayed when a cart delivered a letter from the Tsar commuting the sentence. Dostoevsky served four years of exile with hard labour at a katorga prison camp in Omsk , Siberia, followed by a term of compulsory military service.
After a fourteen-day sleigh ride, the prisoners reached Tobolsk , a prisoner way station. In Tobolsk, the members received food and clothes from the Decembrist women, as well as several copies of the New Testament with a ten-ruble banknote inside each copy. Eleven days later, Dostoevsky reached Omsk   together with just one other member of the Petrashevsky Circle, the poet Sergei Durov.
In summer, intolerable closeness; in winter, unendurable cold. All the floors were rotten. Filth on the floors an inch thick; one could slip and fall We were packed like herrings in a barrel There was no room to turn around. From dusk to dawn it was impossible not to behave like pigs Fleas, lice, and black beetles by the bushel Classified as "one of the most dangerous convicts", Dostoevsky had his hands and feet shackled until his release.
He was only permitted to read his New Testament Bible. In addition to his seizures, he had haemorrhoids , lost weight and was "burned by some fever, trembling and feeling too hot or too cold every night". The smell of the privy pervaded the entire building, and the small bathroom had to suffice for more than people. Dostoevsky was occasionally sent to the military hospital, where he read newspapers and Dickens novels.
He was respected by most of the other prisoners, and despised by some because of his xenophobic statements. After his release on 14 February , Dostoevsky asked Mikhail to help him financially and to send him books by Vico , Guizot , Ranke , Hegel and Kant. They both rented houses in the Cossack Garden outside Semipalatinsk.
Wrangel remarked that Dostoevsky "looked morose. His sickly, pale face was covered with freckles, and his blond hair was cut short.
He was a little over average height and looked at me intensely with his sharp, grey-blue eyes. It was as if he were trying to look into my soul and discover what kind of man I was. In Semipalatinsk, Dostoevsky tutored several schoolchildren and came into contact with upper-class families, including that of Lieutenant-Colonel Belikhov, who used to invite him to read passages from newspapers and magazines.
Alexander Isaev took a new post in Kuznetsk , where he died in August Maria and her son then moved with Dostoevsky to Barnaul. In Dostoevsky sent a letter through Wrangel to General Eduard Totleben, apologising for his activity in several utopian circles. As a result, he obtained the right to publish books and to marry, although he remained under police surveillance for the rest of his life. Maria married Dostoevsky in Semipalatinsk on 7 February , even though she had initially refused his marriage proposal, stating that they were not meant for each other and that his poor financial situation precluded marriage.
Their family life was unhappy and she found it difficult to cope with his seizures. Describing their relationship, he wrote: They mostly lived apart. In London, he met Herzen and visited the Crystal Palace. He recorded his impressions of those trips in Winter Notes on Summer Impressions , in which he criticised capitalism, social modernisation , materialism , Catholicism and Protestantism.
From August to October , Dostoevsky made another trip to western Europe. He met his second love, Polina Suslova , in Paris and lost nearly all his money gambling in Wiesbaden and Baden-Baden.
The failure of Epoch , the magazine he had founded with Mikhail after the suppression of Vremya , worsened his financial situation, although the continued help of his relatives and friends averted bankruptcy. The first two parts of Crime and Punishment were published in January and February in the periodical The Russian Messenger ,  attracting at least new subscribers to the magazine.
Dostoevsky returned to Saint Petersburg in mid-September and promised his editor, Fyodor Stellovsky , that he would complete The Gambler , a short novel focused on gambling addiction , by November, although he had not yet begun writing it. Dostoevsky contacted stenographer Pavel Olkhin from Saint Petersburg, who recommended his pupil, the twenty-year-old Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina. The strangeness of his eyes gave Dostoyevsky some mysterious appearance.
His face was pale, and it looked unhealthy. The 7, rubles he had earned from Crime and Punishment did not cover their debts, forcing Anna to sell her valuables. On 14 April , they began a delayed honeymoon in Germany with the money gained from the sale. They continued their trip through Germany, visiting Frankfurt , Darmstadt , Heidelberg and Karlsruhe.
They spent five weeks in Baden-Baden , where Dostoevsky had a quarrel with Turgenev and again lost much money at the roulette table.
In September , Dostoevsky began work on The Idiot , and after a prolonged planning process that bore little resemblance to the published novel, he eventually managed to write the first pages in only 23 days; the serialisation began in The Russian Messenger in January Their first child, Sonya, had been conceived in Baden-Baden , and was born in Geneva on 5 March The baby died of pneumonia three months later, and Anna recalled how Dostoevsky "wept and sobbed like a woman in despair".
In April , Dostoevsky made a final visit to a gambling hall in Wiesbaden. Anna claimed that he stopped gambling after the birth of their second daughter, but this is a subject of debate. During the trip, he burnt several manuscripts, including those of The Idiot , because he was concerned about potential problems with customs.
The family arrived in Saint Petersburg on 8 July, marking the end of a honeymoon originally planned for three months that had lasted over four years. Back in Russia in July , the family was again in financial trouble and had to sell their remaining possessions. Their son Fyodor was born on 16 July, and they moved to an apartment near the Institute of Technology soon after.
They hoped to cancel their large debts by selling their rental house in Peski, but difficulties with the tenant resulted in a relatively low selling price, and disputes with their creditors continued. Dostoevsky revived his friendships with Maykov and Strakhov and made new acquaintances, including church politician Terty Filipov and the brothers Vsevolod and Vladimir Solovyov.
Around early the family spent several months in Staraya Russa , a town known for its mineral spa. The family returned to St Petersburg in September.
Demons was finished on 26 November and released in January by the "Dostoyevsky Publishing Company", which was founded by Dostoevsky and his wife. Although they only accepted cash payments and the bookshop was in their own apartment, the business was successful, and they sold around 3, copies of Demons. Anna managed the finances. In the summer of , Anna returned to Staraya Russa with the children, while Dostoevsky stayed in St Petersburg to continue with his Diary.
In March , Dostoevsky left The Citizen because of the stressful work and interference from the Russian bureaucracy. In his fifteen months with The Citizen , he had been taken to court twice: Dostoevsky offered to sell a new novel he had not yet begun to write to The Russian Messenger , but the magazine refused.
As his health began to decline, he consulted several doctors in St Petersburg and was advised to take a cure outside Russia. Around July, he reached Ems and consulted a physician, who diagnosed him with acute catarrh. During his stay he began The Adolescent. He returned to Saint Petersburg in late July. Anna proposed that they spend the winter in Staraya Russa to allow Dostoevsky to rest, although doctors had suggested a second visit to Ems because his health had previously improved there.
Dostoevsky finished The Adolescent at the end of , although passages of it had been serialised in Notes of the Fatherland since January. The Adolescent chronicles the life of Arkady Dolgoruky, the illegitimate child of the landowner Versilov and a peasant mother.
In early , Dostoevsky continued work on his Diary. The book includes numerous essays and a few short stories about society, religion, politics and ethics. The collection sold more than twice as many copies as his previous books. Dostoevsky received more letters from readers than ever before, and people of all ages and occupations visited him.
In the summer of , Dostoevsky began experiencing shortness of breath again. He visited Ems for the third time and was told that he might live for another 15 years if he moved to a healthier climate. When he returned to Russia, Tsar Alexander II ordered Dostoevsky to visit his palace to present the Diary to him, and he asked him to educate his sons, Sergey and Paul. Rather than returning to Ems, he visited Maly Prikol, a manor near Kursk. While returning to St Petersburg to finalise his Diary , he visited Darovoye, where he had spent much of his childhood.
He was appointed an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences , from which he received an honorary certificate in February He declined an invitation to an international congress on copyright in Paris after his son Alyosha had a severe epileptic seizure and died on 16 May.
The family later moved to the apartment where Dostoevsky had written his first works. Around this time, he was elected to the board of directors of the Slavic Benevolent Society in Saint Petersburg. Dostoevsky made his fourth and final visit to Ems in early August He was diagnosed with early-stage pulmonary emphysema , which his doctor believed could be successfully managed, but not cured.
On 3 February Dostoevsky was elected vice-president of the Slavic Benevolent Society, and he was invited to speak at the unveiling of the Pushkin memorial in Moscow. On 8 June he delivered his speech , giving an impressive performance that had a significant emotional impact on his audience. His speech was met with thunderous applause, and even his long-time rival Turgenev embraced him.
He speaks with the tone of a prophet. He makes a sermon like a pastor; it is very deep, sincere, and we understand that he wants to impress the emotions of his listeners.
On the following day, Dostoevsky suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage. Anna denied that the search had caused it, saying that the haemorrhage had occurred after her husband had been looking for a dropped pen holder. A third haemorrhage followed shortly afterwards.
And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: Do not restrain me! It is unclear how many attended his funeral. According to one reporter, more than , mourners were present, while others describe attendance between 40, and 50, His tombstone is inscribed with lines from the New Testament: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: Dostoevsky had his first known affair with Avdotya Yakovlevna, whom he met in the Panayev circle in the early s.
He described her as educated, interested in literature, and a femme fatale. Dostoevsky and Apollonia Polina Suslova had a short but intimate affair, which peaked in the winter of — He later described her in a letter to Nadezhda Suslova as a "great egoist.
Her egoism and her vanity are colossal. She demands everything of other people, all the perfections, and does not pardon the slightest imperfection in the light of other qualities that one may possess", and later stated "I still love her, but I do not want to love her any more. Dostoevsky did not love her either, but they were probably good friends.
She wrote that he "became very attracted to me". Her relationship with Dostoevsky is known only through letters written between November and January Before his arrest for participating in the Petrashevsky Circle in , Dostoevsky remarked, "As far as I am concerned, nothing was ever more ridiculous than the idea of a republican government in Russia. He advocated social change instead, for example removal of the feudal system and a weakening of the divisions between the peasantry and the affluent classes.
His ideal was a utopian , Christianized Russia where "if everyone were actively Christian, not a single social question would come up If they were Christians they would settle everything".
Pochvennichestvo differed from Slavophilism in aiming to establish, not an isolated Russia, but a more open state modelled on the Russia of Peter the Great. In his incomplete article "Socialism and Christianity", Dostoevsky claimed that civilisation "the second stage in human history" had become degraded, and that it was moving towards liberalism and losing its faith in God.
He asserted that the traditional concept of Christianity should be recovered. Dostoevsky distinguished three "enormous world ideas" prevalent in his time: Roman Catholicism, Protestantism and Russian Orthodoxy. For Dostoevsky, socialism was "the latest incarnation of the Catholic idea" and its "natural ally". He deemed Russian Orthodoxy to be the ideal form of Christianity. For all that, to place politically Dostoevsky is not that simple, but: During the Russo-Turkish War , Dostoevsky asserted that war might be necessary if salvation were to be granted.
He wanted the Muslim Ottoman Empire eliminated and the Christian Byzantine Empire restored, and he hoped for the liberation of Balkan Slavs and their unification with the Russian Empire. But as you say, its century existence proves that this tribe has exceptional vitality, which would not help, during the course of its history, taking the form of various Status in Statu Dostoevsky was an Eastern Orthodox Christian,  was raised in a religious family and knew the Gospel from a very young age.
In Semipalatinsk, Dostoevsky revived his faith by looking frequently at the stars. Wrangel said that he was "rather pious, but did not often go to church, and disliked priests, especially the Siberian ones. But he spoke about Christ ecstatically. Dostoevsky explored Islam , asking his brother to send him a copy of the Quran. Two pilgrimages and two works by Dmitri Rostovsky , an archbishop who influenced Ukrainian and Russian literature by composing groundbreaking religious plays, strengthened his beliefs.
He wrote more than letters, a dozen of which are lost. Dostoevsky expressed religious, psychological and philosophical ideas in his writings. His works explore such themes as suicide, poverty, human manipulation, and morality. Psychological themes include dreaming, first seen in "White Nights",  and the father-son relationship, beginning in The Adolescent.
The influences of other writers, particularly evident in his early works, led to accusations of plagiarism ,   but his style gradually became more individual. After his release from prison, Dostoevsky incorporated religious themes, especially those of Russian Orthodoxy, into his writing.
Elements of gothic fiction ,  romanticism ,  and satire  are observable in some of his books. He frequently used autobiographical or semi-autobiographical details. He may have been critical of rational and logical thinking because he was "more a sage and an artist than a strictly logical, consistent thinker". Polyphony is a literary concept, analogous with musical polyphony , developed by M. Dostoevsky is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential novelists of the Golden Age of Russian literature.
His psychologic sense is overwhelming and visionary. In his posthumous collection of sketches A Moveable Feast , Ernest Hemingway stated that in Dostoevsky "there were things believable and not to be believed, but some so true that they changed you as you read them; frailty and madness, wickedness and saintliness, and the insanity of gambling were there to know".
It was his explosive power which shattered the Victorian novel with its simpering maidens and ordered commonplaces; books which were without imagination or violence.
In an olive-green postage stamp dedicated to Dostoevsky was released in the Soviet Union, with a print run of 1, copies. Coetzee featured Dostoevsky as the protagonist in his novel The Master of Petersburg. The Dostoyevskaya metro station in Saint Petersburg was opened on 30 December , and the station of the same name in Moscow was opened on 19 June , the 75th anniversary of the Moscow Metro. Several critics, such as Nikolay Dobrolyubov , Ivan Bunin and Vladimir Nabokov , viewed his writing as excessively psychological and philosophical rather than artistic.
Others found fault with chaotic and disorganised plots, and others, like Turgenev, objected to "excessive psychologising" and too-detailed naturalism. His style was deemed "prolix, repetitious and lacking in polish, balance, restraint and good taste". These characters were compared to those of Hoffmann, an author whom Dostoevsky admired.
Basing his estimation on stated criteria of enduring art and individual genius, Nabokov judges Dostoevsky "not a great writer, but rather a mediocre one—with flashes of excellent humour but, alas, with wastelands of literary platitudes in between".
French, German and Italian translations usually came directly from the original, while English translations were second-hand and of poor quality. Dostoevsky did not refuse permission, but he advised against it, as he believed that "each art corresponds to a series of poetic thoughts, so that one idea cannot be expressed in another non-corresponding form". His extensive explanations in opposition to the transposition of his works into other media were groundbreaking in fidelity criticism.
He thought that just one episode should be dramatised, or an idea should be taken and incorporated into a separate plot.
After the Russian Revolution , passages of Dostoevsky books were sometimes shortened, although only two books were censored: Demons  and Diary of a Writer.
Many of his longer novels were first published in serialised form in literary magazines and journals. In English many of his novels and stories are known by different titles. Poor Folk is an epistolary novel that describes the relationship between the small, elderly official Makar Devushkin and the young seamstress Varvara Dobroselova, remote relatives who write letters to each other.
An unscrupulous merchant finds the inexperienced girl and hires her as his housewife and guarantor. He sends her to a manor somewhere on a steppe, while Makar alleviates his misery and pain with alcohol.
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