ABOUT THIS BOOK
More than a century after his death in 1881, Fyodor Dostoevsky continues to fascinate readers and reviewers. Countless studies of his writing have been published—more than a dozen in the past few years alone. In this important new work, Thomas Marullo provides a diary-portrait of Dostoevsky’s early years drawn from the letters, memoirs, and criticism of the writer, as well as from the testimony and witness of family and friends, readers and reviewers, and observers and participants in his life.
Marullo’s exhaustive search of published materials on Dostoevsky sheds light on many unexplored corners of Dostoevsky’s childhood, adolescence, and youth. Speakers of excerpts are given maximum freedom: Anything they said about the writer—the good and the bad, the truth and the lies—are included, with extensive footnotes providing correctives, counter-arguments, and other pertinent information.
The first part of this volume, “All in the Family,” focuses on Dostoevsky’s early formation and schooling, i.e., his time in city and country, and his ties to his family, particularly his parents. The second section, “To Petersburg!,” features Dostoevsky’s early days in Russia’s imperial city, his years at the Main Engineering Academy, and the death of his father. The third part, “Darkness before Dawn,” deals with the writer’s youthful struggles and strivings, culminating in the success of his work, Poor Folk. This clear and comprehensive portrait of one of the world’s greatest writers will appeal to students, teachers, and scholars of Dostoevsky’s early life, as well as general readers interested in Dostoevsky, literature, and history.