Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian writer of novels, short stories and essays. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society. Although Dostoyevsky began writing books in the mid-1850s, his best remembered work was done in his last years, including Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. He wrote eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and three essays and is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky was born and raised within the grounds of the Mariinsky hospital in Moscow, in Russia. At an early age he was introduced to English, French, German and Russian literature, as well as to fairytales and legends. His mother's sudden death devastated him and, around the same time, he had to leave private school for a military academy. After his graduation he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a quite liberal lifestyle. He soon began translating books to earn some extra money. Around the mid-1840s he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk, which brought him into the mainstream. In 1849 he was arrested for his involvement with the Petrashevsky Circle, a progressive discussion group. He and other members were condemned to death for their participation in this group, but the execution proved to be a mock execution at the last moment, and Dostoyevsky's sentence was commuted to four years of imprisonment in Siberia. After his release from prison he was forced to serve as a soldier, but was discharged from the military due to ill health and allowed to continue with his writing.

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Birthday: November 11, 1821

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