White Nights and Other Stories (Google eBook)

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Digireads.com Publishing, Jan 1, 2011 - Fiction
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After a brief military career, the illustrious Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky quickly turned to writing as a profession with the publication of his first novel, Poor Folk, in 1846. This novel sparked a literary career that would eventually cement Dostoyevsky's reputation as one of the greatest novelists of the nineteenth century. Early participation in a literary/political group landed the writer in exile in Siberia for nearly a decade, an experience which had a profound influence on Dostoyevsky's understanding of fate, the suffering of human beings, and resulted in a powerful religious conversion experience. Dostoyevsky's works are marked by his penetrating exploration of psychology and morality, which are today cited as highly 'existentialist.' This edition contains White Nights, one of Dostoyevsky's best-known short stories and an excellent introduction to his works. Also included are the following stories: Notes From Underground, A Faint Heart, A Christmas Tree and a Wedding, Polzunkov, A Little Hero, and Mr. Prohartchin.
  

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Contents

WHITE NIGHTS
5
NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND
35
A FAINT HEART
99
A CHRISTMAS TREE AND A WEDDING
126
A LITTLE HERO
140
MR PROHARTCHIN
161
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About the author (2011)

One of the most powerful and significant authors in all modern fiction, Fyodor Dostoevsky was the son of a harsh and domineering army surgeon who was murdered by his own serfs (slaves), an event that was extremely important in shaping Dostoevsky's view of social and economic issues. He studied to be an engineer and began work as a draftsman. However, his first novel, Poor Folk (1846), was so well received that he abandoned engineering for writing. In 1849, Dostoevsky was arrested for being a part of a revolutionary group that owned an illegal printing press. He was sentenced to be executed, but the sentence was changed at the last minute, and he was sent to a prison camp in Siberia instead. By the time he was released in 1854, he had become a devout believer in both Christianity and Russia - although not in its ruler, the Czar. During the 1860's, Dostoevsky's personal life was in constant turmoil as the result of financial problems, a gambling addiction, and the deaths of his wife and brother. His second marriage in 1887 provided him with a stable home life and personal contentment, and during the years that followed he produced his great novels: Crime and Punishment (1886), the story of Rodya Raskolnikov, who kills two old women in the belief that he is beyond the bounds of good and evil; The Idiots (1868), the story of an epileptic who tragically affects the lives of those around him; The Possessed (1872), the story of the effect of revolutionary thought on the members of one Russian community; A Raw Youth (1875), which focuses on the disintegration and decay of family relationships and life; and The Brothers Karamazov (1880), which centers on the murder of Fyodor Karamazov and the effect the murder has on each of his four sons. These works have placed Dostoevsky in the front rank of the world's great novelists. Dostoevsky was an innovator, bringing new depth and meaning to the psychological novel and combining realism and philosophical speculation in his complex studies of the human condition.

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