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Fyodor Dostoevsky: biography and his contribution to world literature

Fyodor Dostoevsky is a writer and philosopher whose work is recognized not only in Russia, but throughout the world. He is considered a classic of world literature, and his works have been translated into most of the world's languages. Thanks to him, new genres of literature appeared, such as psychological prose. Many great philosophers recognized that Dostoevsky's work had a great influence on them.

Fyodor Dostoevsky's biography is full of dramatic stories. Dostoevsky's personal life was spent in a constant struggle with his passions, and as a result, with poverty.

 

The first years of Fyodor Dostoevsky's biography

Fyodor Dostoevsky was born on October 30, 1821 in Moscow, in the wing of the Mariinsky hospital for poor. His father was Mikhail Andreevich Dostoevsky from an impoverished noble family. He graduated from the Imperial medical and surgical Academy, and in 1816 was awarded the title of staff physician.

The Mariinsky hospital was built in Moscow in 1806. It was the first in Russia, where all people were accepted, regardless of class. It is quite natural that mostly poor people were treated there, and the hospital became known as the "Mariinsky hospital for the poor".

Mikhail Dostoevsky was sent to the Mariinsky hospital as a staff doctor in 1821, and was provided with two state rooms in the wing for living there. A year earlier, he had married the daughter of an impoverished merchant of the 3rd Guild, Maria Feodorovna Nechaeva. They immediately had their first son, Mikhail. A year later, when they were already living in the wing of the Mariinsky hospital, they had a second son, Fyodor, who would become one of the greatest Russian writers. In total, the Dostoevsky family had 7 children: 4 brothers and 3 sisters.

The Museum in the hospital rooms occupied by the Dostoevsky family was established in 1928. This was the first Museum dedicated to the great writer Dostoevsky. All the furniture of the rooms was recreated from the memoirs of Dostoevsky's relatives. Subsequently, museums were created in almost all places where Dostoevsky lived or was in prison.

 

Darovoe estate: the childhood of Fyodor Dostoevsky

Mikhail Dostoevsky bought the Darovoye estate near the city of Zaraysk in the South of the Moscow region in 1831. Fyodor was 10 years old at the time. At the time of purchase, the village had 11 courtyards and 70 serfs. From that moment on, the Dostoevskys began to leave Moscow for the summer. Father went to the Mariinsky hospital on duty, but mother and children lived in Darovoye all summer.

The following year after the purchase of the village of Darovoe, a severe fire occurred in. It destroyed most of the courtyards, including the manor house. Mikhail Dostoevsky gave money to his peasants to restore their farms, and his family moved to a small wing that looks more like a small peasant hut. The Dostoevsky family lived in it all the years.
In 1836, Fyodor Dostoevsky's mother died. After that, his father resigned as a doctor and moved with his family to Darovoe.

he following year, the older brothers Mikhail and Fyodor were sent to study at the Engineering school in St. Petersburg.
In 1839, Fyodor Dostoevsky's father died in Darovoye. According to one version, he was killed by the peasants of the village of Cheremoshnya, which at that time also belonged to Dostoevsky, but this was not proven. The Darovoe estate was divided among the children into shares, but Fyodor Dostoevsky refused his share, and received 1000 rubles in silver for this. Subsequently, the entire estate was purchased by Vera Mikhailovna, Dostoevsky's sister, with whom he was friends all his life. In 1877, at the age of 56, Dostoevsky once again came to Darovoye.

The house where the Dostoevsky family lived in Darovoye was restored and now it is a Museum. Inside the house, the exposition is very modest. More interesting is the surrounding nature: a Park and a pond. The Park contains the oak trees. There are signs next to them: "These oaks remember Fyodor Dostoevsky".

 

Engineering castle: Fyodor Dostoevsky's studies and arrest

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky entered the Engineering school of Saint Petersburg in 1838, at the age of 16. This school was located in the Mikhailovsky castle, and it is one of the places that is closely connected with the fate of Dostoevsky, but so far, there is no museum dedicated to the writer. The castle was built by Emperor Paul I.

Fyodor Dostoevsky was hardly able to enter the Engineering school for the third conductor class, and in the first year of study, he was even left for the second year. But then his studies improved, and on November 29, 1840, he successfully passed the front-line service exams and was promoted to non-commissioned officer. On August 6, Dostoevsky received the rank of second Lieutenant and was released for active military service in the Engineering corps.

While studying at the Engineering school, Dostoevsky began writing his first stories, but they have not survived to this day. He finished his first novel, «Poor people», which was highly acclaimed by critics and readers, in 1845. The writer was warmly received in the "Belinsky Circle". They started talking about him as the new Gogol (famous Russian writer), however, Dostoevsky's new works, in particular the novel «the Double», did not meet with public approval.

In 1846, Dostoevsky first visited Petrashevsky's circle and became interested in his revolutionary ideas. At this time, another novel, «White nights», was written, which received high critical acclaim. His literary work was actively developing, but it ended on April 23, 1849. On this day, Dostoevsky and all the members of Petrashevsky's circle were arrested.

The writer spent 8 months in the prison of the Trubetskoy Bastion of the Peter and Paul fortress, and was eventually sentenced to death. At the last moment on the Semyonovsky parade ground, when there was no more than a minute left to live, the sentence was changed to exile to Siberia. Memories of this moment then haunted Dostoevsky all his life.


Tobolsk prison castle - exile in Siberia

In 1849, Fyodor Dostoevsky was sent to hard labor in Siberia. His first stop was the Tobolsk Prison Castle. The city of Tobolsk became a place of exile in the 16th century, and in the 18th century a large prison was built here. It was named Tobolsk prison castle or Tobolsk Central. It was the highest-security prison in tsarist Russia. The castle is located on the high Bank of the Irtysh river near the Tobolsk Kremlin and remained a prison until 1989.

Fyodor Dostoevsky was in the Tobolsk Prison castle from January 9 to January 20, 1850, waiting for a transfer to the Omsk prison. There he met with the wives of the Decembrists, Muravyova, Annenkova, and Fonvizina. They were in Tobolsk on their way to the place of their husbands ' penal servitude. They presented to Dostoevsky the Gospel with money pasted into binding of the book. He kept this Gospel all his life as a relic.

In Tobolsk, there is a monument to Dostoevsky in front of the Peter and Paul Cathedral, not far from the Prison castle. Later, he will describe this place in the epilogue of the most famous novel "Crime and Punishment".

 

Dostoevsky Museum in Omsk: 4 years of hard labor

The Dostoevsky Museum in Omsk is located in the building of the commandant of the Omsk prison. He was brought here on January 23, 1850. Here he spent 4 years of hard labor. Conditions of detention were very difficult, Dostoevsky was constantly in shackles. He worked in a brick factory, but was often ill. His epileptic seizures increased. In addition, the attitude of other prisoners towards people of noble origin was very bad.

In the hospital, Dostoevsky could make notes, which he later called the "Siberian notebook". Then he remembered with gratitude the doctor of the Omsk prison Ivan Troitsky and its commandant Alexey de Grave. How he wrote to his brother: "If I had not found people here, I would have died completely."

On January 23, 1854, the term of imprisonment ended and Dostoevsky's shackles were removed. He was released from Omsk prison and as an ordinary soldier was sent to the 7th Siberian battalion in Semipalatinsk (Kazakhstan). In the house where he lived in Semipalatinsk, the Dostoevsky Museum was opened (now this city is called Semey).

The Museum recreates the atmosphere of the prison barracks. Most of the exhibits are devoted to the writer's prison life, his letters and various resolutions that concerned Dostoevsky's stay in Omsk prison.

These 4 years of Omsk prison formed his worldview and understanding of the people. Dostoevsky became more religious. He reflected his experiences in the famous novel "Notes from the dead house", which made a huge impression on his contemporaries.

 

Dostoevsky's return from exile and escape abroad

After the death of Emperor Nicholas I, Dostoevsky asked his friend General Totleben to petition for his amnesty and the possibility of returning to St. Petersburg. On October 26, 1856, the day of the coronation of Alexander II, an amnesty was announced for all Petrashevites. After that, Dostoevsky was promoted to ensign.

On February 6, 1857, he married Maria Isaeva in the city of Kuznetsk, but this marriage was not a happy one. In 1859, Dostoevsky finally received permission to return to St. Petersburg. There he actively engaged in literary activities. The publication of the story "Notes from the Dead house" shocked the society of St. Petersburg. He became a famous writer.

In 1862, Dostoevsky made his first trip to Europe for balneological treatment. He visited Baden-Baden and Wiesbaden in Germany. There he first became addicted to the ruinous game of roulette. He couldn't stop and always lost absolutely everything.

In 1864, his brother Mikhail and his wife Maria Isaeva died. Dostoevsky and his brother had the publishing house "Epoch", and after his death, he was forced to take all the debts on himself. Unprofitable contract with a publisher and a ruinous passion for gambling made situation even worse. At the same time, since 1866, the flourishing of Dostoevsky's work begins. He writes novels that will become classics of world significance: "Crime and Punishment" (1866),"Idiot" (1868).

In June 1866, Dostoevsky, in order to pay off his creditors for old debts, was forced to enter into a bonded contract with the publisher Stellovsky, which obliged him to provide a new novel until November 1866. Otherwise, Stellovsky would have received the right to publish everything that Dostoevsky would write for 9 years. October came, but Dostoevsky only made sketches of the novel. It seemed impossible to fulfill the contract, but friend Milyukov helped to Dostoevsky. He hired the best stenographer, Anna Snitkina (then 20), with whom Dostoevsky wrote the novel “The Gambler” in 26 days. During the work on the novel Dostoevsky and Snitkina became closer and later they got married.

By 1869, debt obligations became unbearable, and Dostoevsky was forced to flee abroad. So began 3 years of extreme poverty and wandering around European cities. In 1871, they decided to return home. Dostoevsky stopped gambling and his wife put family’s financial affairs in order.

 

Dostoevsky Museum in Staraya Russa

After wandering through European cities in a poverty, Fyodor Dostoevsky's health was shaken. In addition, in Europe, in the period from 1869 to 1871, the Dostoevskys had two children and their health was also very weak. This forced Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky to look for his own housing. Before they always lived in rented apartments.

Dostoevsky's choice fell on Staraya Russa, which is located 100 kilometers from Veliky Novgorod. It was considered a resort, but at the same time, it was possible to rent a cottage cheap. In 1872, they rented the house of the priest Rumyantsev in Staraya Russa, and then moved to the two-story house of Lieutenant Colonel Gribbe on the embankment of the Porus river. After the owner's death in 1876, Dostoevsky bought the house. Dostoyevsky possessed the first and only house in the property.

In Staraya Russa, the Dostoevskys had a son, Alexey. These were years of family happiness and well-being. Here he wrote his prophetic novels, where he predicted the future of Russia: "Demons" and "Teenager".

The Dostoevsky house in Staraya Russa has reached almost unchanged to this day. Despite the fierce fighting in the area of Staraya Russa during the World War II, the house was not destroyed. There was created the Dostoevsky Museum in Staraya Russa. Currently, 7 rooms are open to the public on the second floor. The interiors of all the rooms are recreated with precision, according to the memoirs of Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina.

 

The Dostoevsky Museum in Saint-Petersburg

The largest Museum dedicated to the biography and work of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is located in Saint Petersburg at the intersection of Kuznechny line and Yamskaya street. In St. Petersburg, Dostoevsky always lived in rented apartments. This was the last apartment where the Dostoevsky family lived from October 1878 until Fyodor Mikhailovich's death on January 28, 1881.

This apartment where the Memorial Museum of Dostoevsky in St.Petersburg is open consists of 6 rooms. The interior of the Apartment, and especially of Dostoevsky's study, is recreated with the smallest accuracy from the memoirs of his wife Anna Snitkina. In this workroom, Dostoevsky wrote his famous novel "the Brothers Karamazov". There is a table in the living room with his cigarettes on it. At the table, Dostoevsky received visitors who very often came to visit him.

Next to Dostoevsky's apartment is a literary Museum, which describes in detail the biography of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky from the moment of his birth in the Mariinsky hospital for the poor, until his death in 1881.

In 1880, at the opening of the Pushkin monument in Moscow, Dostoevsky delivered his famous speech dedicated to the great poet. Dostoevsky said: "Pushkin is an extraordinary phenomenon and perhaps the only phenomenon of the Russian spirit, Gogol said. I will add from myself: and prophetic… And never has any one Russian writer, either before or after it wasn't connecting so sincerely and kinship with the Russian people as Pushkin."

This speech made a great impression on contemporaries. At the same time, in November 1880, his novel “the Brothers Karamazov” was published. Dostoevsky was recognized as one of the greatest Russian writers in history. He died just six months later.

 

Dostoevsky's funeral at the Alexander Nevsky Lavra

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky died on January 28, 1881, at the age of 59. By this time, his illnesses had worsened: chronic bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, and emphysema. He also had occasional bouts of epilepsy.

The Abbot of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery offered to bury the writer in the cemetery in the Monastery, and all expenses were covered. The coffin was carried from the house to the Monastery. In total, about 50 thousand people came to the funeral. The procession stretched for more than a kilometer.

Dostoevsky's Tomb in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra is located in the Tikhvin necropolis. In 1937, it was renamed the Necropolis of the Masters of Arts. Many famous artists are buried here: Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky, Glinka, Borodin, Karamzin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Krylov, Balakirev, Delvig, Dargomyzhsky, Zhukovsky, Komissarzhevskaya, Kustodiev, Lyadov, Mussorgsky, Voronikhin, Kui, Petipa and others. In total, there are more than 100 burials of all famous artists of the 19th century.

 

Dostoevsky's Petersburg

Everyone who is interested in the work of the great writer is familiar with the expression "Dostoevsky's Petersburg". Everyone knows that in his novels Dostoevsky wrote about poor people, those who lived in tenement houses near or below the poverty line.

To feel "Dostoevsky's Petersburg" you have to go to the blocks around Sennaya square and the Griboyedov Canal. At the beginning of his novel “Crime and punishment”, he described it very well: "On the street the heat was terrible, besides the stuffiness, jostling, everywhere lime, wood, brick, dust and that special summer stench, so well known to every Petersburger who does not have the opportunity to rent a villa outside, all this at once unpleasantly shook the already upset nerves of the young man."

Travel agencies arrange excursions along the route "Dostoevsky's Petersburg". Especially accurately all addresses are described in the novel "Crime and punishment". The house of Rodion Raskolnikov is located at 19 Grazhdanskaya street. The House where the “old woman-the interest-taker” lived is located at 104 Griboyedov canal. It is described in detail how Rodion Raskolnikov went to kill this old woman.

You can also take this route with a book in your hands. Previously, you even could go into the courtyard of the house and the entrance where the old woman lived, and even go to the door to her apartment. All the walls of the entrance used to be covered with phrases like: "Hello grandma, we came to see you. 9th grade students". There were also many people with inflamed eyes who wanted to ring the doorbell of the old woman's apartment to feel Raskolnikov's feelings: "Who am I, a trembling creature, or do I have the right?»