Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1888)
The Moscow-born son of a surgeon, Fyodor Dostoyevsky graduated among the top three in his class at the Petersburg school of Engineering. Soon after, he enjoyed his first literary success for the book Poor Folk (1846). However, he was condemned to death in 1849 for participating in a reading group that was considered revolutionary. Commuted at the last moment, he was sent instead to hard labour in Siberia. For most of his life Dostoyevsky was weighed down by debts, but nevertheless supported his brother's family by writing at a pace too hurried to allow for revision. Much of his writing was censored, yet even today he is one of the most widely read of Russian writers. Important works include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1868-1869), and The Brothers Karamazov (1879-1880).
File 2 of 2. First serialized in the periodical The Russian Messenger, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's masterpiece Crime and Punishment explores the limits of personal freedom. The story could be considered detective fiction, except it is told from the point of view of the criminal, a young, murder-prone student who searches for redemption. First published in 1866.
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