It is often remarkable to see the relation between events in an author?s life and that of his works. Many great authors have transcribed the pivotal moments of their existence onto paper for readers to enjoy, sympathize, or rage. Certainly, Fyodor (or Fedor) Dostoevsky, being no different than that of the very best of his profession, lived a life with experiences that influenced his writings a great deal. His masterpieces stand as ultimate manifestations of his tumultuous affair with pain, sorrow, anger, misery, for, each tells of dark worlds and conflicts with social status, money, or oneself. Overall, Dostoevsky?s past of living in constant torment with himself and his ideals transfers itself onto each page of his novel Crime and Punishment, indeed, difficult lessons he learned from his own mistakes jump out from the page at readers, as if he wants us also to learn something.
Born in Moscow 1821 during the rule of tyrannical Russian tsars and slavery with the nicer terminology of serfdom, the young Dostoevsky witnessed first-hand the violent nature of an alcoholic. As son of a vicious army surgeon whose brutality after drinking led the family serfs to choke him to death one day by pouring whisky down his throat (Leatherbarrow 13), his aversion to and disgust of alcohol is easily understood. In an unexpected turn of events, Nicolas I liberated all serfs during Dostoevsky?s teenage years and as a result left him and his family on the edge of destitution. In the wake of emancipation, however, he matured into a fierce advocate for serf rights and even called for government subsidies to aid them in starting afresh (15). His campaign for better conditions for peasants and fi...
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...ld when he died in 1881 (Leatherbarrow 30), Dostoevsky left the world a legacy of amazing works that probe into the depths of the human soul: The Double, The House of the Dead, Notes from the Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Possessed, The Brothers Karamazov, etc (31).
"Dostoevsky's Life and Career, 1859-1863." LESSON 8 Dostoevsky, Notes From Underground. Russian 5421, University of Minnesota. 28 Dec. 2007,
Knapp, Liza. Giants of Russian Literature: Turgenev, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov. Prince Frederick, MD: Modern Scholar, 2007.
Leatherbarrow, William J. Fedor Dostoevsky. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1981.
Leone, Bruno, Brenda Stalcup, Bonnie Szumski, and Tamara Johnson, eds. Fyodor Dostoevsky: a Literary Companion. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. 54-83.
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