Fyodor Dostoyevsky biography

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Novelist, Author

1821 – 1881


Who was Fyodor Dostoyevsky?

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist and philosopher. Dostoyevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the context of the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. He began writing in his 20s, and his first novel, Poor Folk, was published in 1846 when he was 25. His major works include Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov. His output consists of eleven novels, three novellas, seventeen short novels and numerous other works. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.

Born in Moscow in 1821, Dostoyevsky was introduced to literature at an early age through fairy tales and legends, and through books by Russian and foreign authors. His mother died in 1837, when he was 15, and around the same time he left school to enter the Nikolayev Military Engineering Institute. After graduating, he worked as an engineer and briefly enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, translating books to earn extra money. In the mid-1840s he wrote his first novel, Poor Folk, which gained him entry into St. Petersburg's literary circles.

Famous Quotes:

  • Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.
  • Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys.
  • Sarcasm: the last refuge of modest and chaste-souled people when the privacy of their soul is coarsely and intrusively invaded.
  • A real gentleman, even if he loses everything he owns, must show no emotion. Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about.
  • The secret of man's being is not only to live but to have something to live for.
  • If there is no God, everything is permitted.
  • If you like a man's laugh before you know anything of him, you may say with confidence that he is a good man.
  • Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
  • To be too conscious is an illness. A real thorough going illness.
  • Deprived of meaningful work, men and women lose their reason for existence; they go stark, raving mad.


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Nov 11, 1821
Russian Empire
Also known as
  • Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky
  • Fedor Dostoievski
  • Fedor M.Dostoyevsky
  • F. M Dostoyevsky
  • Fyodor Michaylovich Dostoyevsky
  • Fedor Dostoevskij
  • F.M. Dostoevsky
  • F. Dostoevsky
  • Dostoievski
  • FĂ©odor Dostoievski
  • Christianity
  • Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Russian
  • Russia
  • Military Engineering-Technical University
    (1838/01 - )
Feb 9, 1881
Saint Petersburg

on July 23, 2013

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