Milestones: Fyodor Dostoyevsky

On November 16, 1849, Fyodor Dostoyevsky was sentenced to death for antigovernment activities associated with a radical intellectual circle, The Petrashevsky Circle.

Painting of Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Fyodor Dostoyevsky in 1872 by Vasily Perov (Public Domain)

The Petrashevsky Circle was formed in St. Petersburg in 1840 and named after the founder, Mikhail Petrashevsky. Members held diverse political views, but all were in opposition to the Russian feudal system, which kept millions of serfs confined to a life of servitude without property rights or full legal rights.

This death sentence was not to be Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s destiny. Instead he spent four years in a Siberian work camp. He would go on to write his memorable narratives: From the Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Demons, and Brothers Karamazov.

13 Replies to “Milestones: Fyodor Dostoyevsky”

  1. Thank you, Rebecca, for this additional information about our author. I did not know that he had been sentenced to death or that he spent a long time in Siberia. I am sure that there were others that experienced same experiences for taking the part of the poor and trying to help them. We are blest to live in CANADA. I see this author has other books that I have not read–is this a challenge! ! !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are on to another challenge in 2022. Stay tuned for an even more challenging Readlalong. I’m hoping that you will join me in going back to Russia.


  2. life is unpredictable, Rebecca. Much of the world’s best writing has resulted from the survival of horrendous circumstances. I think the worst part of it all is that little seems to ever change. Except in Canada which seems progressive.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree – life is very unpredictable. Canada is a wonderful country, Robbie, but we have difficult issues to solve as well, which has been exacerbated by the Covid 19 Pandemic (an unpredictable, global disruption). For example, homelessness is increasing as the cost of housing escalates dramatically. I believe that writers, artists, poets allow us to see possibilities and solutions. They remind us to pause and reflect on how we can participate in seeking positive outcomes.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hi, Rebecca. You might be interested in checking out Mark Tulin’s blog: He’s a writer in California who writes fiction and poetry about people who are homeless, mentally ill, or otherwise dispossessed. He was formerly a psychotherapist, and that work informs his writing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I believe you are right, because artistic people think differently. Like me, I do everything backwards, I see the finished puzzle in my head whether it is a complex accounting structure or a book or a poem and then I write it all backwards using my puzzle as my guide. I can’t tell you how the puzzle arrives, fully formed in my head though.

        Liked by 2 people

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