Thursday, October 30, 2014

Crime and Punishment made Dostoyevsky famous

It is the birthday of Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821), whose book Crime and Punishment (1866), made him one of the most celebrated writers in Russia. Among his best known works are The Idiot (1869), Demons (1872), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880), all written in the last years of his life.  He wrote his first novel, Poor Folk (1846), out of financial desperation because of his gambling addiction. The book tells the story of a clerk and his relationship with an upper class woman through letters between them. Critics gave it high marks, some finding touches of parody and satire. Dostoyevsky's classic, Crime and Punishment, examines the psychology of a poor ex-student who plots to kill a dishonest pawnbroker and take her money. He reasons he can do good deeds with her cash to offset the crime.

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