Fyodor Dostoevsky Biography| A Look into the Life of a Russian Literary Giant

Fyodor Dostoevsky was a renowned Russian author whose works are still widely read and studied today. Born on November 11, 1821, in Moscow, Dostoevsky led a tumultuous life that was filled with personal and professional challenges. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at his life, his works, and his legacy.

Early Life and Education

Dostoevsky’s parents were both members of the nobility, but their fortunes had fallen by the time he was born. Despite this, they were determined to provide their son with a good education. Dostoevsky attended a boarding school in Moscow and then went on to study engineering at the St. Petersburg Institute of Military Engineering. However, his passion for literature soon led him to abandon his engineering studies and pursue a career as a writer.

Personal Life

Dostoevsky’s personal life was marked by tragedy and hardship. In 1849, he was arrested and sentenced to death for his involvement in a political conspiracy. However, at the last moment, his sentence was commuted to hard labor in Siberia. He spent four years in prison, during which time he suffered from epilepsy and experienced religious epiphanies that would later influence his writing.

After his release from prison, Dostoevsky married his first wife, Maria Isaeva. They had four children together, but Maria died of tuberculosis in 1864. Dostoevsky remarried in 1867 to Anna Grigoryeva Snitkina, who was his stenographer. They had one child together.

Career and Literary Works

Dostoevsky’s literary career began in the 1840s with the publication of his first novel, “Poor Folk.” However, it was his later works that cemented his reputation as one of the greatest writers of all time. His novels, including “Crime and Punishment,” “The Idiot,” and “The Brothers Karamazov,” explore themes of morality, religion, and the human condition.

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s most famous Quotes

These quotes provide a glimpse into Dostoevsky’s philosophical and psychological insights, which continue to inspire readers today. However, it’s important to note that these quotes should be read in the context of the larger works they are taken from, as they may not fully capture the complexity and nuance of Dostoevsky’s ideas.

“The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.”Notes from Underground
“To live without hope is to cease to live.”The Brothers Karamazov
“The soul is healed by being with children.”The Idiot
“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others.”The Brothers Karamazov
“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.”Crime and Punishment
“Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don’t say that you’ve wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.”The Idiot
“The darker the night, the brighter the stars, The deeper the grief, the closer is God!”Crime and Punishment
“We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.”The Brothers Karamazov
“If there is no God, everything is permitted.”The Brothers Karamazov


Dostoevsky’s works continue to be read and studied by scholars and readers around the world. His influence can be seen in the works of countless other writers, and his exploration of complex psychological and philosophical themes has made him a literary giant. His legacy is a testament to the power of literature to illuminate the human experience.

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Books

It’s important to note that these are just some of Dostoevsky’s most well-known works, and he wrote many other books and short stories throughout his career. Additionally, some of these works may have been published under different titles in different translations. Nonetheless, this table provides a good overview of his major literary output.

TitleYear PublishedGenre
Poor Folk1846Novel
The Double1846Novella
The Landlady1847Short Story
Netochka Nezvanova1849Novel
The Village of Stepanchikovo1859Novel
Uncle’s Dream1859Novel
Humiliated and Insulted1861Novel
The House of the Dead1862Novel
Notes from Underground1864Novella
Crime and Punishment1866Novel
The Gambler1867Novel
The Idiot1869Novel
The Possessed (aka Demons)1872Novel
A Raw Youth (aka The Adolescent)1875Novel
The Brothers Karamazov1880Novel


Fyodor Dostoevsky was a complex and fascinating figure whose life and works continue to captivate readers today. Despite the challenges he faced, he persevered and left behind a legacy that is still celebrated and studied. Therefore, to clarify, Dostoevsky’s life is a reminder that even in the face of adversity, creativity and passion can flourish. His works serve as a testament to the power of literature to explore the deepest aspects of the human experience.

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