By David Owens
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky
b. 1821- d. 1881
Fyodor Dostoevsky was born on October 30, 1821 in Moscow.
In 1837, at the age of 16, he moved to Saint Petersburg to attend Military Engineering School and graduated in 1843.
In 1844 he resigned his engineering position to devote himself to writing.
He published his first novel in 1846, “Poor Folk” and he got encouragement from some critics.
In 1849, Dostoevsky was arrested for work with French Utopian Socialists and he received 4 years in prison in Omsk. After this difficult time he lost his utopian dreams and began his exploration of the irrational in life.
In 1866, he wrote “Crime and Punishment” while living near Sennaya Ploschad on Kaznachieskaja Street.
His greatest novel “The Brothers Karamazov” was released in 1880.
Dostoevsky died February 9 in 1881. He is buried in the Tikhvin Cemetary at Aleksander Nevsky Monastery in St. Petersburg. Both his birth and death are marked in modern ceremonies. The Literary Memorial Museum of Dostoevsky has a memorial service on Feb. 9 to mark his passing. And nearby, at the Vladmir Cathedral where Dostoevsky attended, the choir will perform in his memory. He could see the cathedral spire from his last apartment and it is where he wrote “The Brothers Karamozov.” It is by Metro Dostoevsky, of course.
To visit Dostoevsky’s gravesite at the Aleksander Nevsky Lavra from Sennaya Ploschad Sadovaya / Spassky Metro station, take the Metro three stops to Aleksander Nevskovo Ploschad Metro station. Cross the square and the cemetary is in front of the monastery. There is a small charge to the cemetary park. Many famous writers, musicians and other notable figures are buried there. The monuments are works of art and it is fascinating to wander the grounds and discover many famous names.
|Excerpt from Crime and Punishment,” 1866
Chapter 5 — Raskolnikov “It was about nine o’clock when he crossed the Hay Market. At the tables and the barrows, at the booths and the shops, all the market people were closing their establishments or clearing away and packing up their wares and, like their customers, were going home. Ragpickers and costermongers of all kinds were crowding round the taverns in the dirty and stinking courtyards of the Hay Market.
Raskolnikov particularly liked this place and the neighbouring alleys, when he wandered aimlessly in the streets. Here his rags did not attract contemptuous attention, and one could walk about in any attire without scandalising people.”
Read Crime and Punishment online.
Some of the locations in Dostoevsky’s life and writings:
Mikhailovsky (St. Michael’s) Castle (Engineer’s Castle), where Dostoevsky studied. Now part of the Russian Museum.
Vladimirsky prospect, 11. In the corner apartment of this house Dostoevsky lived from 1842 to 1846. His first novel, Poor folk, was written here.
Nikolsky Cathedral, (Saint Nicholas Church) Kryukov Canal. Scene of action of the writer’s early works Poor folk, Netochka Nezvanova, White Nig
inity Cathedral. Dostoevsky was married in this cathedral.
Stolyarny Lane 5: House of the main hero of the novel Crime and Pu
nishment, Rodion R askolnikov. It is decorated with a relief monument.
Ekaterininsky Canal, 73, 104.
Houses of Sonechka and pawnbroker Alyona Ivanovna from the novel Crime and Punishment. The Ekaterina Canal is now called the Gribeodova Canal.
Kaznachieskaja 7: North of Hay market at Kaznachieskaja and Stolyarny, a monument on house where Dostoevsky wrote “Crime and Punishment.”
Shil’s house: Voznesensky and Malaya Morskaya Street. 1847 to 1849. “White Nights” written there. Dostoevsky was arrested here for attending the meeting of Petrashevsky circle.
Pionerskaya square (Semyonov square). Mock execution held here while Dostoevsky was in prison.
Cafe ‘The Idiot’ Moika 65: Vegetarian food and coffee, atmosphere of 19th century St. Petersburg, tourist stop.
Dostoevsky Museum. Kuznechny Pereluk 5. Apartment where Dostoevsky spent the two last years of his life and wrote “The Brothers Karamazov.” Open Daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays. 7-812-164-6950.
You may see some of these sites on walking tours. Peter has a good and reasonably priced walking tour plan, http://www.peterswalk.com/