The second son of a former army doctor, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow, in 1821 and has become one of history’s most renowned authors. Dostoyevsky was educated both at home and privately before he was sent to St. Petersburg where he entered the army engineering college. While he graduated as a military engineer, Dostoyevsky retired in 1844 to pursue and devote his time to writing. His first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846 when Dostoyevsky was just twenty-four years old. But Dostoyevsky wasn’t just an author, there was so much more to the man. To honor his legacy, join us in exploring the details of his life.
1. His Military Career
Although Dostoyevsky retired from the army to devote his time to writing, he would return, just not voluntarily. Just three years after joining a group of Utopian Socialists, Dostoyevsky was arrested and sentenced to death. However, his sentence was changed to four years imprisonment in Siberia, where he performed four years of hard labor. His sentence continued for another four years after his hard labor, but the service was in the army as a soldier in Semipalatinsk. He retired for a second time from military service in 1856, two years after returning to St. Petersburg.
2. An Author with a Religious Mission
When he returned to St. Petersburg in 1854, Dostoyevsky continued writing but this time, with a mission. He published three differing works that represent and depict his time and service in Siberia. The first novel was a fictional tale about prison life in a labor camp, The House of the Dead (1860). He then published, The Insulted and Injured, a reflection on his decision to refute the naivety of his choice to join Utopianism. He then published Winter Notes on Summer Impressions, a novel about his time abroad in Europe.
3. Marriage and Debt
In 1857 Fyodor Dostoyevsky married Maria Isaev, a twenty-nine-year-old widow. She died five years later between 1864 and ’65 alongside Fyodor’s brother. It was during this time that Dostoyevsky was burdened with debts, made worse by his gambling. Just ten years later, in 1867, Fyodor remarried. Anna Snitkin, was half of Dostoyevsky’s age at twenty-two. She was his stenographer and seemed to understand his mania and his rage.
From 1861 to 1863 Dostoyevsky was an editor for the monthly periodical Time.
5. His final works
Dostoyevsky’s final works would continue to impact future writing as they were the philosophical and psychological exploration of the human soul. Notes from the Underground was the exploration and study of an outsider. In 1866, he published Crime and Punishment, the story of an individual’s fall and their path to redemption. Following his description of a guilty man in Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky sets out to portray a pure innocent man in his 1868 publication of The Idiot. In 1871, he released The Possessed, his philosophical exploration of one’s self-destructiveness.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky is arguably one of many legendary authors the world has seen. He has been a journalistic editor and a retired military engineer who was sentenced to death but instead imprisoned for being a Utopian Socialist. But throughout his life he never stopped writing, he was always exploring and depicting to his readers, the different aspects of the human soul, forever leaving his mark on the world.
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