Russian Thinkers Characters

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Feodor Dostoevesky

Considered one of Russia's most important novelists along with Tolstoy and Turgenev, Feodor Dostoevesky (1821 - 81) led a life as dramatic as any of his novels. Born to an alcoholic father and suffering periodic attacks of epilepsy from the age of ten, he graduated from officers' school. In the 1840's he was part of the Petrashevsky Circle, a discussion group of discontented young educated Russians, including radical reformers and conspirators. After Europe's 1848 revolutions, several circle members were arrested and tried, including Dostoevsky. He was sentenced to death for reading aloud the famous letter of Vissarion Belinsky denouncing Gogol, but at the last moment as he faced the firing squad, his sentence was commuted to eight years of exile in the Siberian city of Omsk.

Dostoevsky's prison experiences sparked a religious conversion in which he rejected Western ideas and values and turned toward his Orthodox Christian faith. His novels...

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This section contains 1,971 words
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Buy the Russian Thinkers Study Guide
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