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Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Birthday

Fyodor Dostoyevsky was a Russian author and was born on November 11, 1821. His most popular works include: Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, and The Idiot. If you would like to read these pieces or more of his work, check out the following selection:

The Brothers Karamazov

The last and greatest of Dostoevsky 's novels, The Brothers Karamazov is a towering masterpiece of literature, philosophy, psychology, and religion. It tells the story of intellectual Ivan, sensual Dmitri, and idealistic Alyosha Karamazov, who collide in the wake of their despicable father's brutal murder. Into the framework of the story Dostoevsky poured all of his deepest concerns-the origin of evil, the nature of freedom, the craving for meaning and, most importantly, whether God exists. The novel is famous for three chapters that may be ranked among the greatest pages of Western literature. "Rebellion" and "The Grand Inquisitor" present what many have considered the strongest arguments ever formulated against the existence of God, while "The Devil" brilliantly portrays the banality of evil. Ultimately, Dostoevsky believes that Christ-like love prevails. But does he prove it? A rich, moving exploration of the critical questions of human existence, The Brothers Karamazov powerfully challenges all readers to reevaluate the world and their place in it.

The Gambler

In this dark and compelling short novel, Fyodor Dostoevsky tells the story of Alexey Ivanovitch, a young tutor working in the household of an imperious Russian general. Alexey tries to break through the wall of the established order in Russia, but instead becomes mired in the endless downward spiral of betting and loss. His intense and inescapable addiction is accentuated by his affair with the General's cruel yet seductive niece, Polina. In The Gambler , Dostoevsky reaches the heights of drama with this stunning psychological portrait.

The Idiot

After his great portrayal of a guilty man in Crime and Punishment , Dostoevsky set out in The Idiot to portray a man of pure innocence. The twenty-six-year-old Prince Myshkin, following a stay of several years in a Swiss sanatorium, returns to Russia to collect an inheritance and "be among people." Even before he reaches home he meets the dark Rogozhin, a rich merchant's son whose obsession with the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna eventually draws all three of them into a tragic denouement. In Petersburg the prince finds himself a stranger in a society obsessed with money, power, and manipulation. Scandal escalates to murder as Dostoevsky traces the surprising effect of this "positively beautiful man" on the people around him, leading to a final scene that is one of the most powerful in all of world literature.

Crime and Punishment

Raskolnikoff murders an old moneylender and her sister, and after a lengthy investigation a saintly prostitute Sonya convinces him to confess.

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