The Brothers Karamazov

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Saturday, December 04, 2004

Fyodor Dostoyevsky - A Brief Life History

1821, Fyodor was born on October 30 in Russia.
1838, January. He entered Military Engineering School.
October. He had to repeat the first year.
1839, June. Father murdered by his peasants.
1840, Began having epileptic seizures.
1843, He finished Military Engineering School.
1844, June & July. First published work was translation of Balzac’s novel Eugenie Grandet.
October. He decided to retire from military to focus on writing.
1845, Writes Poof Folk, The Double. Meets Petrashevsky and joined his discussion group on philosophy and politics.
1847-1848, Publishes minor works.
1849, April. Arrested for political subversion (part of Petrashevsky circle) He was sentenced to death by firing squad, but reprieved at last moment. He then left to Siberia on Christmas Eve.
1850-54. In prison at Omsk.
1854-59. Served in military battalion, Semipalatinsk, Siberia, first as a private, then as non-com (1855), ensign (1856).
1857, February. He married a widow, M.D. Isaev. Also resumed publishing.
1859, August. He was permitted to move to Tver (30 miles from Moscow).
December. Later, he was permitted to move to Petersburg.
1860-63. Fyodor issued the successful journal Time under brother’s editing.
1860, Began publishing Notes from a Dead House.
1862-63, He has an affair with Polina Suslov.
1864, He published a periodical The Epoch but it folds at the end of the year. The first issue contains beginning of Notes from Underground, and works on Crime and Punishment.
April. His wife died.
July. His brother Michael died, and assumes responsibilities for both debts owed by his wife and brother. He contracts an advance of 3000 rubles for his new work and agreed to give up his literary right if it was not produced by deadline.
1866, He finished Crime and Punishment and dictated The Gambler to fulfill his contract.
1867, February. He married Anna Grigorenva Snitkin, 18 year old stenographer to whom he dictated The Gambler and the epilogue of Crime and Punishment. He then went abroad to escape creditors.
1867-1871, He lived in Europe. He wrote and published The Idiot, The Eternal Husband, and began work on The Possessed.
1871, July. He returned to Russia and began publishing The Possessed.
1873, He was the editor of The Citizen.
1874, He left The Citizen to write The Adolescent.
1875, Time of the publication and conclusion of The Adolescent.
1876, Marked the beginning of monthly publication, A Writer’s Diary.
1878, May. His son Alexey died.
June. He went to the Optina Monastery and tells his companion, Vladimir Solovyo, the details of The Brothers Karamazov.
December. Fyodor stopped publication of the Diary to work on the novel.
1879, He began to publish The Brothers Karamazov.
1880, June. He delivered the “Pushkin Day Speech” that was published in the Diary.
November. Fyodor finishes The Brothers Karamazov.
1881, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s dies on January 28.


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