top of page

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.

To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's.

I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.

It takes something more than intelligence to act intelligently.

But how could you live and have no story to tell?

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

You can be sincere and still be stupid.

Right or wrong, it's very pleasant to break something from time to time.

To love someone means to see them as God intended them.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born on November 11, 1821, in Moscow, Russia. He was the second of seven children in his family and is considered to be one of the finest and most influential novelists in literary history. His father, Mikhail Andreevich Dostoevsky, was a doctor who worked at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor, which was located in one of Moscow's most destitute areas. His mother, Maria Dostoevsky, was a merchant's daughter. Both his parents were ardent believers in Orthodox Christianity, and they educated Dostoevsky at home until he was 12. He later attended the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute in Saint Petersburg.

Dostoevsky's mother died of tuberculosis in 1837 when he was just 15 years old. Two years later, Dostoevsky's father Mikhail died in 1839. His death has been the subject of some controversy. While it is known that he died at his private estate, the circumstances are unclear. Some accounts suggest that he was murdered by his own serfs, while others suggest that he may have died of natural causes. This event reportedly had a profound impact on young Fyodor and has been speculated to have influenced his perspective on crime and punishment, a recurring theme in his later work.

Dostoevsky's life took a drastic turn when he was arrested in 1849 for his involvement with the Petrashevsky Circle, a group of radical socialists. Dostoevsky and his fellow prisoners were taken to a firing squad, and only at the very last minute, after they had been lined up for execution, was a reprieve from Tsar Nicholas I read out loud, commuting their sentences to hard labor in Siberia. This mock execution and the last-minute reprieve had a profound effect on Dostoevsky, intensifying his exploration of themes related to suffering, redemption, and the human condition. His near-death experience is said to have influenced his perspective on life and death, themes that he would delve deeply into in his later works. Post his Siberian exile, Dostoevsky's novels became increasingly concerned with moral philosophy, the concept of free will, existentialism, and Orthodox Christianity.

His four masterpieces, "Crime and Punishment" (1866), "The Idiot" (1868), "Demons" (1872), and "The Brothers Karamazov" (1880), encapsulated his comprehensive exploration of human nature. "Crime and Punishment" examined the moral implications of transgression and punishment, while "The Idiot" portrayed the collision of a purely good character with a corrupt society. "Demons" was a sharp criticism of radical politics and nihilism. Finally, "The Brothers Karamazov," considered by many as his magnum opus, represented a culmination of his life's work, engaging with profound moral and theological questions.

Fyodor Dostoevsky died on February 9, 1881, at the age of 59 just months after publishing "The Brothers Karamazov." His cause of death was complications related to pulmonary emphysema, a lung condition that is often associated with smoking and can lead to difficulty breathing. In the days leading up to his death, Dostoevsky had been working on plans for a novel titled "The Brothers Karamazov: Epilogue". He dictated some notes to his wife, Anna Grigoryevna, but was unable to complete the novel due to his deteriorating health.

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Anchor 1
bottom of page