Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fyodor Dostoevsky

1821 - 1881




The form of art that I interact the most with is literature. In particular, classic novels that have stood the test of time. The most influential authors in my life thus far have included Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and many others. Though I have been most impressed and fascinated with the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, a Russian author perhaps most famous for his novel Crime & Punishment. While I was first introduced to Dostoevsky in high school English, when we were required to read Crime & Punishment, I quickly found myself enthralled in his words and fascinated by his unique ability to identify with feelings that we all hold somewhere deep inside of ourselves. I was pleased to find this to be the case in The Brothers Karamazov, which was the second novel I read by Dostoevsky. Even in sections of his novels where there is relatively little activity, there is some deeper connection that he makes with the reader that maintains your participation. Unfortunately, while there are still great works published today, I find that the classic novels of Dostoevsky, and others, have an impressive depth and quality that is difficult to find. While I could understand that some don’t perceive novelists as artists in the traditional sense, I would strongly disagree. Dostoevsky has invoked great participation in the process of interpreting the content of his literature. Unlike a photograph, he has not simply stated a fact, but instead has masked the subject matter and thus has allowed for greater interpretation and consideration. I have learned much about myself and the world through his works.



This webpage identifies the history of Dostoevsky’s personal life, as well as his a comprehensive list of his works. The introduction of this page identifies his most famous works, as well as his use of philosophical and psychological insights, which have been the aspects of his work that have impacted me the most. IT also addresses his impact on the world of literature, which many would find to be very interesting and eye opening. For those of you who do not particularly enjoy literature, or Dostoevsky in particular, you may find this page to be interesting as it explains his time as a prisoner in Siberia, sentenced to death, as a result of his involvement with intellectual and political issues. This experience gives a much greater understanding of the source of his novels, in particular many scenes of Crime and Punishment. This page delves into his work with short stories and periodicals as well.


While this page gives insight in Dostoevsky's biography, it is interesting in its description of Dostoevsky's critics and what led them to hold such sentiments. One such interesting relationship in Dostoevsky's career was with the famous Leo Tolstoy, which the article explains to have been a more complex relationship surrounding a deep respect despite such criticisms. This page also gives a detailed account of the events leading up to Dostoevsky's imprisonment, which I believe any individual who has read Dostoevsky's work would find very enlightening.


I absolutely love this page, as it provides an extensive list of famous quotes from the author. For an author, their own words are more telling of themselves and their legacy than any biography could be. Dostoevsky's words are powerful and moving; I believe that anybody who wants a good idea of what his works entail would enjoy browsing his famous quotes and identifying the source of them. Something interesting about Dostoevsky, like many classic novelists, is that all of his works have very similar tones and it is very easy to identify his works. In other words, if you like one of his novels I would be very surprised if you didn't enjoy all of them. Without the pressures of modern media it seems authors had much more freedom to express their emotions as they saw fit, without the desperate requirement of keeping their publishers or readers excited. While I am sure that was important to them, it wasn't a priority in the way that it often is today -- or so that is my opinion.  I would strongly encourage all of you to follow Crime and Punishment or Fyodor Dostoevsky on Facebook. Obviously it is some individual posting their own choices, but they post famous quotes that can be refreshing to see in the middle of a busy work day!


I hope you enjoy! Time to go read..!



I hope you enjoy! Time to go read..!