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Vizetelly & Co.
Vizetelly & Co.,
Brentanos / 1887
Prince Lyov Nikolaevich Myshkin is a young, handsome, and open-hearted man of simplicity and virtue—leading many to mistakenly assume he is unintelligent and naïve. But what happens when such a good man meets the selfish and ambitious affairs of St. Petersburg’s aristocracy? In this tale of compassion, romance, jealousy, and violence, the worldly meets the personification of goodness and innocence—and the result leaves a penetrating insight into humanity itself.
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Fyodor Dostoevsky was born to minor Russian nobility in 1821. He entered the military academy at age 17. While an engineer in the army, he translated works from French and wrote his first fiction for money on the side. He became a member of the utopian socialist Petrashevsky circle. He was arrested for reading banned political literature and sentenced to death by firing squad in 1849. The execution was stayed at the last moment when a letter arrived from the Tsar pardoning him. Instead, Dostoevsky was exiled to Siberia and four years hard of labor, shackled hand and foot. During his sentence, the only thing he could read was the New Testament. Upon his release, his gambling addiction frequently left him in poverty, and he began a financially tumultuous marriage to his secretary. He died in 1881 after suffering a pulmonary hemorrhage. Together with Tolstoy, he is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential novelist of Russian literature’s golden age.