Feodor Dostoevsky by Alba Della Fazia Amoia Summary
A political outcast, a victim of poverty, a compulsive gambler, and an epileptic, Dostoevsky nevertheless produced some of the greatest literary works of all time: Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Notes from Underground, The Gambler, The Brothers Karamazov. This volume, which is for anyone who seeks an acquaintance with this complex genius, surveys the main facts of Dostoevsky's life and his contributions to literature. It offers some of the reasons for his reputation as a creative artist, one who has inspired a biographical and critical literature of immense proportions. Drawing on the latest research on Dostoevsky's life, Alba Amoia begins with a concise biography before examining in succeeding chapters the novels, novellas and long tales, short stories, theater, memoirs, and journalism. A separate chapter at the conclusion significantly looks at the Russian periodicals of Dostoevsky's time. Dostoevsky's teeming works, with their extraordinary insight, speak to us in our own century in ways their author could not have foreseen. During the Bolshevik Revolution, a critic asked, "Is it not strange how Dostoevsky seems to revive every time our way of life dissolves in a fiery ferment?" In the ferment of another revolution, in 1990, a Russian parliamentarian, speaking of the old Soviet dispensation, again poignantly invoked Dostoevsky: In the writer's admonishment that happiness cannot be constructed if its foundation is flawed by the tears of a single child.