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Fyodor Dostoevsky-In the Beginning (1821-1845): A Life in Letters, Memoirs, and Criticism

Fyodor Dostoevsky-In the Beginning (1821-1845): A Life in Letters, Memoirs, and Criticism

by Thomas Gaiton Marullo


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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.  

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875807461
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 02/24/2017
Series: NIU Series in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies
Edition description: 1
Pages: 370
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Thomas Gaiton Marullo is professor of Russian and Russian literature at the University of Notre Dame. His publications include Heroine Abuse: Dostoevsky's Netochka Nezvanova and the Poetics of Codependency (NIU Press, 2015).  

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Introduction 1

Part 1 All in the Family 19

Part 2 To Petersburg 65

Part 3 Darkness before Dawn 133

Conclusion 223

Directory of Prominent Names 227

Notes 237

Source Notes 269

Index 283

What People are Saying About This

Irwin Weil

"This impressive collection of translated primary sources represents a significant contribution to the wide audience of admirers (and no small audience of detractors) of Dostoevsky. It will be especially helpful to those who do not know the Russian language and hence lack access to many of the memoirs."

Yuri Corrigan

"Thomas Gaiton Marullo has produced a unique and much-needed biography of Dostoevsky in his early years. By providing his readers with a wealth of primary texts, Marullo shows rather than tells Dostoevsky's life, and the result is an engrossing and informative reading experience, a work rich in detail which allows for the reader to be more active in piecing together the writer's biography, and thus to be more deeply affected by it."

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