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Ը , / Fyodor Dostoevsky Biography

Ը / Fyodor Dostoevsky Biography Photo.

Ը / Fyodor Dostoevsky (11.11.1821 - 09.02.1881) - Russian writer.

Ը / Fyodor DostoevskyEarly Life

Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky was born on 11 November 1821 in Moscow. His father was a physician and worked at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor. It was situated in Moscow. Mikhail was very cruel especially to serfs. Dostoevskys mother was very kind woman. Her image affected Fyodors mental vision deeply.

There were seven children in the family and Fyodor Dostoyevsky was the second. Their dwelling located in the Mariinsky Hospital grounds was not big. The district where the family lived was bad. The hospital was surrounded by a mental home, a cemetery and an orphanage.

The atmosphere in which the young writer lived had influence on him. Dostoyevsky felt compassion for the poor and dispirited. Afterwards it became apparent in his writings. Dostoyevskys parents prohibited him to communicate with patients but nevertheless he often strolled through the hospital garden and talked to them.

From the age of 9 young writer suffered occasionally from epilepsy. Supposedly it had an influence on description of some characters, such as Prince Myshkin and Smerdyakov.

Dostoyevsky studied at the Saint Petersburg Institute of Military Engineering. He learnt mathematics there though he scorned this subject. At the same time Dostoyevsky studied literature by foreign writers like Shakespeare, Victor Hugo and others. Though he didnt like mathematics and was interested in other subjects he could pass all the exams and receive a commission.

Early Publications

German dramatist Friedrich Schiller exerted influence on Dostoyevsky and consequently two new romantic plays appeared: Boris Godunov and Mary Stuart. Dostoyevsky thought of himself as a dreamer in his youth. It is known that Schiller was occasionally ridiculed by Dostoyevsky.

In 1843 he finished translation of Balzac's novel Eugenie Grandet and left the Engineering Academy. A year later he left the army and began to write his own fiction. Dostoyevskys first writing, Poor Folk, was printed in 1846. The short novel was a great success. As the saying goes, Russian writer and publisher, Nikolai Nekrasov, came to critic Vissarion Belinsky and said A new Gogol arisen! Belinsky and his supporters concurred. Soon this work was published in book form and Dostoyevsky became famous. He was 24 years old.

In 1846 Dostoyevsky wrote a story The Double. Some literary critics including Belinsky formed unfavourable opinion of this novella. Moreover a lot of his works after Poor Folk got discrepant reviews and some critics supposed that Nekrasov was wrong.

Later Literary Career

In 1863 Dostoyevsky tripped to western Europe and he was partial towards gambling there. At that time he made the acquaintance of Apollinaria Suslova, who was an image of his proud woman like Katerina Ivanovna in The Brothers Karamazov and in Crime and Punishment.

A year later Dostoyevsky was oppressed by death of his wife and then by death of his brother. He tried desperately to help his near relations and was deeply in debt. Dostoyevsky felt low and began to frequent gambling houses losing large sums of money. After a gambling spree he was in need of money and he had to complete Crime and Punishment on the run to obtain an advance from his publisher.

After these events Dostoyevsky decided to go to western Europe to escape creditors and gamble abroad. He met with Suslova again and tried to renew relations. Dostoyevsky wanted to marry her but she refused. He was heartbroken but then met Anna Grigorevna Snitkina who became his wife.

From 1873 to 1881 Dostoevsky printed a new monthly magazine, the Writers Diary. There were different stories and articles in it. The magazine was a great success.

It is also known that philosopher Vladimir Sergeyevich Solovyov exerted influence on Dostoevsky. It was apparent in the descriptions of the characters Alyosha and Ivan Karamazov.


Dostoevsky spent the last years of his life at the resort of Staraya Russa in northwestern Russia. The great writer died in St. Petersburg on 9 February 1881 of a lung hemorrhage associated with emphysema and an epileptic seizure.

Ը / Fyodor Dostoevsky Biography Photo
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