Coradella Collegiate Bookshelf Editions.
Purchase the entire
Bookshelf on CD at
Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The Gambler.
ContentsPurchase the entire Coradella Collegiate Bookshelf on CD at
About the author
Dostoevsky(born November 11,
(October 30, Old Style), 1821,
Moscow; died February 9, ( January
28, O.S.), 1881, St. Petersburg,
Russia), Russian writer, one of the
major figures in Russian literature.
He is sometimes said to be a
founder of existentialism.
Born to parents Mikhail and Maria, Fyodor was the second of
seven children. Fyodor's mother died of an illness in 1837.
Fyodor and his brother Michael were sent to the Military Engi-
neering Academy at St. Petersburg shortly after their mother's death,
though these plans had begun even before she became ill.
It was not long before his father, a retired military surgeon who
served as a doctor at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor in Moscow,
also died in 1839. While not known for certain, it is believed that
Mikhail Dostoyevsky was murdered by his own serfs, who reportedly
became enraged during one of Mikhail's drunken fits of violence, re-
strained him, and poured vodka into his mouth until he drowned.
Another story was that Mikhail died of natural causes, and a neighbor-
ing landowner cooked up this story of a peasant rebellion so he could
buy the estate cheap. Though no matter what happened, Freud capi-
talized on tale in his famous article, Dostoevsky and Parricide (1928).
Dostoyevsky was arrested and imprisoned in 1849 for engaging in
revolutionary activity against Tsar Nicholas I. On November 16 that
year he was sentenced to death for anti-government activities linked
to a radical intellectual group, the Petrashevsky Circle. After a mock
execution in which he faced a staged firing squad, Dostoyevsky's sen-
tence was commuted to a number of years of exile performing hard
labor at a katorga prison camp in Siberia. The inci