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Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881), born in Moscow, lived much of his childhood distanced from his frail mother and officious father. During these formative years, he formed a close bond with his elder brother Mikhail. When they were teenagers, however, Fyodor and Mikhail were enrolled in separate boarding schools, Fyodor matriculating at an engineering school in St. Petersburg. Even as he was studying the trade of government, Dostoevsky was honing his skills as a writer, inking drafts of what would become his first novel—Poor Folk. In 1846, it was published to warm critical response. Something of a literary figure at the age of twenty-five, Dostoevsky began attending the discussion group that would result in his imprisonment. His sentence was commuted to four years in prison and four years of army service. His prison experiences, as well as his life after prison among the urban poor of Russia, provided a vivid backdrop for much of his later work. Released from his imprisonment and service by 1858, he began a fourteen-year period of furious writing, in which he published many significant texts, including The House of the Dead, Notes from the Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and Devils. During this period, Dostoevsky's life was in upheaval, as he lost both his first wife and his brother. On February 15, 1867, he married his stenographer Anna Grigorevna Snitkina, who managed his affairs until his death. Two months before he died, Dostoevsky completed the epilogue to The Brothers Karamazov, which was published in serial form in the Russian Messenger.

Tantor selections by this author:

Crime and Punishment
Notes from the Underground
The Gambler
The Idiot
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