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by Bamber Gascoigne

Fyodor (Mikhaylovich) Dostoevsky (1821-1881) - surname also written Dostoyevsky, Dostoevskii


Russian novelist, journalist, short-story writer, whose psychological penetration into the human soul profoundly influenced the 20th century novel. Dostoevsky's novels have much autobiographical elements, but ultimately they deal with moral and philosophical questions. He presented interacting characters with contrasting views or ideas about freedom of choice, Socialism, atheisms, good and evil, happiness and so forth. Dostoevsky's central obsession was God, whom his characters constantly search through painful errors and humiliations.

"But you're a poet, and I'm a simple mortal, and therefore I will say one must look at things from the simplest, most practical point of view. I, for one, have long since freed myself from all shackles, and even obligations. I only recognize obligations when I see I have something to gain by them. You. of course, can't look at things like that, your legs are in fetters and your taste is morbid. You yearn for the ideal, for virtue. But, my dear friend, I am ready to recognize anything you tell me to, but what shall I do if I know for a fact that at the root of all human virtues lies the most intense egoism?" (Prince Valkovsky in The Insulted and Humiliated, 1861)

Fyodor Dostoevsky was born in Moscow, the second son of a staff doctor at the Hospital for the Poor – later Dostoevsky's father acquired an estate and serfs. Dostoevsky was educated at home and at a private school. With his pious mother he made annual pilgrimages to the monastery of the Trinity and Saint Sergei. She died of tuberculosis in 1837. At the end she was so weak that she no longer had the strenght to comb her hair. Dostoyesky's father began to drink and talk with his wife's ghost.

Shortly after his mother's death, Dostoyesky was sent to St. Petersburg, where he entered the Academy for Military Engineers. There he read Goethe's Faust and writers such as E.T.A. Hoffmann, Victor Hugo, and Balzac. But to his father he assured: "I'm passionately fond of military science." Dostoevsky was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in 1842 and next years he graduated as a War Ministry draftsman. He had no interest in military engineering but at the academy he could also study Russian and French literature.

Dostoevsky's father Mikhail Andreevich died in 1839, probably of apoplexy, but there was strong rumors that he was murdered by his own serfs in a quarrel. With the help of a small income from the estate, Dostoevsky resigned in 1844 his commission to devote himself to writing. His first novel, Poor Folk (1846), which he wrote in a little over nine months in his small room, gained a great success with the critics, who hailed Dostoevsky as the new Gogol. "We all came from Gogol's overcoat," Dostoevsky said. One critic remarked dryly, "You have Gogols growing like mushrooms." The leading literary critic Vissarion Belinsky called Poor Folk "the first attempt at a social novel we've had".

Poor Folk was followed by The Double (1846), subtitled "A Petersburg Poem", which irritated Dostoevsky's former admirer, Vissarion Belinsky. In the story a man is losing his mind – he is haunted by a look-alike who eventually usurps his position. Belinsky remarked that such atypical "psychopathic" characters belonged in madhouses rather than in works of art.

In 1846 Dostoevsky joined a group of utopian socialists, who gathered Mihail Petrashevsky's home. Petrashevsky was an eccentric and socialist, who once went to a church dressed as a woman. The secret police had placed an agent in the group, and on April 23 in 1849 Dostoevsky was arrested during a reading of Vissarion Belinsky's radical letter 'Selected Passages from Correspondence with Friends,' and sentenced to death. With mock execution, which thoroughly shocked the writer, the sentence was commuted to imprisonment in Siberia. Dostoevsky spent four years in hard labor in a stockade, wearing fetters. Many of the other convicts had committed murder. On his release in 1854 he was assigned as a common soldier in Semipalatinsk. Eventually he became an ensign. These experiences provided subject matter for the his future works. His heroes and heroines reflected moral values which were vitally important for the author. They also were men and women of action, whose thoughts influenced deeply the young in Russia. During the years in Siberia Dostoevsky became a monarchist and a devout follower of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Dostoevsky returned to St. Petersburg in 1859 as a writer with a religious mission. He published three works that derive in different ways from his Siberia experiences: The House of the Dead (1861-62), a fictional account of prison life, The Insulted and Injured (1861), which reflects the author's refutation of naive Utopianism in the face of evil, and Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (1863), his account of trip to Western Europe.

The Insulted and Injured was greeted by Dostoevsky's old and new readers with enthusiasm. It was completed after his penal service and exile, and published on his return to Petersburg. The narrator is Ivan Petrovich, a young aspiring writer. His literary debut, working methods, and social situation were taken from Dostoevsky's own life. The hero falls from the fame into poverty. When the book appeared it was coldly received by the critics. Dostoevsky defended the work in an open letter, writing that he knew for certain that even though the novel should be a failure, there would be poetry in it, and the two most important characters would be portrayed truthfully and even artistically.

In 1857 Dostoevsky married Maria Isaev, a 29-year old widow. He resigned from the army two years later. Between the years 1861 and 1863 he served as the editor of the monthly periodical Time. The paper was later suppressed because of an article on the Polish uprising. In 1862 Dostoevsky went to abroad for the first time, traveling in France and England. He traveled Europe again in 1863 and 1865. During this period his wife and brother died, he was obsessed with gambling, and plagued by debts and frequent epileptic seizures.

From the turmoil of the 1860s emerged Notes from Underground (1864), a psychological study of an outsider. The book marked a watershed in Dostoevsky artistic development. Notes from Underground starts with a confession by the nameless narrator. "I am a sick man.... I am a spiteful man. I am a most unpleasant man. I think my liver is diseased." Dostoevsky put into his character's mouth a lot of his own ideas about Russian society and the destructive influence of Western European rationalism, but he is not an alter ego of the writer himself.

The story continues with the monologue of the Underground man, who reveals his inner self to his imaginary reader. He is humiliated by his former schoolmates in a party and he gets very drunk. In a dark shop, which functions as a brothel in the evenings, he makes impressive speeches to a humble prostitute, Liza. "What are you giving up here? What are you enslaving? Why, you're enslaving your soul; something you don't really own, together with your body! You're giving away your love to be defiled by any drunkard! Love! After all, that's all there is!" He humiliates her, gives money when she only shows her real caring, but eventually she demonstrates her moral superiority. Notes from Underground was followed by Crime and Punishment (1866), an account of an individual's fall and redemption. The Idiot (1868-69), which Dostoevsky finished in Florence, depicted a Christ-like figure, Prince Myshkin, through whom the author revealed the spiritual bankruptcy of Russia. The Possessed (1872), also translated as The Devils and Demons, was an exploration of philosophical nihilism. Its central character, the Byronic Stavrogin, was an opposite to Myshkin.

Crime and Punishment was serialized in Ruskii vestnik (The Russian Messenger) from January through December 1866 and appeared in a book form next year. On one level the novel belongs to the genre of detective fiction, but Dostoevsky's interest lies on the criminal – the sinner. The story is set in St. Petersburg, which Dostoevsky called the "most fantastic city in the world". The city, with its mythology, also becomes the accomplice of the protagonist, Raskolnikov, a young resentful student. An assiduous readers of newspapers, Dostoevsky saw in the crime reports symbolic meanings, signs of the hidden ills of the whole society.

Raskolnikov kills a pawnbroker, a greedy old woman, and her half-witted stepsister as well. He attempts to justify the murder in terms of its advantageous social consequences. He argues that each age gives birth to a few superior beings who are not constrained by ordinary morality – and he is one of such beings. The core of the novel is dialogue, as its is in Dostoevsky's other major works. Under the influence of the meek, Christian prostitute Sonia, Raskolnikov confronts the hollowness of his thoughts, which eventually leads to confession and redemption. Raskolnikov's nemesis is Porfiry Petrovich, a police investigator, who knows his guilt. In the demonic Svidrigailov, who commits suicide, Raskolnikov sees his own picture. "You know," confesses Svidrigailov to Raskolnikov, "from the very beginning I always thought it was a pity that your sister had not chanced to be born in the second or third century of our era, as the daughter of a ruling prince somewhere, or some governor or proconsul in Asia minor. She would doubtless have been one of those who suffered martyrdom, and she would, of course, have smiled when they burned her breast with red-hot pinchers. She would have deliberately brought it on herself." In his agony Raskolnikov realizes, that in murdering he has killed the essentially human in himself. Raskolnikov goes to Siberia for seven years. Sonia follows him to his imprisonment. – The novel has been filmed several times. Josef von Sternberg's version from 1935, starring Peter Lorre as Raskolnikov, was primarily a detective story. In the same year Pierre Chenal made his adaptation, Crime et châtiment. Denis Sanders moved the action to contemporary California in 1959. Lev Kulidjanov's version from 1969 was long – 3 hours and 20 minutes – and the most ambitious of all.

Dostoevsky married in 1867 Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina, his 22-years old stenographer, who seems to have understood her husband's manias and rages. To avoid his creditors Dostoevsky left Russia with her and spent time in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, mostly in poverty. While in Dresden, he lost all his money and his his watch in the famous casino of Homburg, gambled most of Anna's jewelry away in Baden-Baden, including a pair of her earrings just before their departure to Geneva. With Turgenev, whom he owed fifty rubles, he quarreled about Russia, finally suggesting that his colleague should buy a telescope, to see Russia better.

Meanwhile, Dostoevsky's literary fame only grew in Russia. When The Possessed , which he finished turned out to be a success, he returned to Russia, and purchased a house in the provincial town of Staraya Russa. From 1873 to 1874 Dostoevsky was editor of the conservative weekly Citizen. Among his friends was Konstantin Pobedonostsev, a reactionary and the tutor to the czarevitch Alexander. In 1876 he founded his own monthly, The Writer's Diary, which gained a wider audience than his novels. Recurrent themes were the end of the world and the alleged conspiracy of the Jews, of whom he used the derogatory word zhid (Yid, kike) rather than the neutral evrei. "The wretched Yids will be drinking the blood of the people and feeding themselves on the people's debauchery and humiliation," Dostoevsky raged. The Diary contributed to the growing climate of anti-Semitism in Europe. 

Dostoevsky's short story from this period 'The Gentle Maiden' (1876) inspired later Robert Bresson's film Une Femme Douce (1969). In the story, narrated in first-person, a husband searches the reason for his wife's suicide and goes through their life together. "How it has happened I cannot tell, I try, again and again, to explain it to myself. Ever since six o'clock I have been trying to explain it, yet cannot bring my thoughts to a focus. Perhaps it is through trying so much that I fail." Gradually his narration reveals him as pompous, cruel, and tyrannical man. "She could go nowhere without my leave," he says, and the reader realizes that suicide offered her the only way to escape from her domineering husband.

By the time of The Brothers of Karamazov (1879-80), Dostoevsky was recognized in his own country as one of its great writers. He enjoyed his role as a prophet, an original public voice in the crisis period of his country. Dostoevsky final novel culminated his lifelong obsession with patricide – the assumed murder of his father had left deep marks on the author's psyche. The novel is constructed around a simple plot, dealing with the murder of the father of the Karamazov family. One of the sons, Dmitri, is arrested. The brothers represent three aspects of man's being: reason (Ivan), emotion (Dmitri) and faith (Alesha). This material is transcended into a moral and spiritual statement of contemporary society.

An epileptic all his life, Dostoevsky died in St. Petersburg on February 9 (New Style), 1881. He was buried in the Aleksandr Nevsky monastery, St. Petersburg. Anna Grigoryevna devoted the rest of her life to cherish the literary heritage of her husband. Dostoevsky's novels anticipated many of the ideas of Nietzsche and Freud. Dostoevsky himself was strongly influenced by such thinkers as Aleksandr Herzen and Vissarion Belinsky. He saw that great art must have liberty to develop on its own terms, but it always deals with central social concerns. He supported the Russian war against Turkey, and like much later Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, he emphasized more the spiritual transformation of the individual than social revolution.

Dostoevsky's novels have been read in many ways – according to some biographical interpretations, he raped a young girl, which he revealed in a fictionalized form in his writings. Dostoevsky never met his great contemporary writer Leo Tolstoy. The Westernizing Turgenev was in many ways his opposite. The author's slavophilic views have been regularly taken up by Russian nationalists. The film director Nikita Mikhalkov, an ardent supporter of president Vladimir Putin, has justified Russian operations in Ukraine by quoting Dostoyevsky's Diary. Vladimir Nabokov had a very low opinion of his countryman's work: "He was a prophet, a claptrap journalist and a slapdash comedian. I admit that some of his scenes, some of his tremendous farcical rows are extraordinarily amusing. But his sensitive murders and soulful prostitutes are not to be endured for one moments – by this reader anyway."

For further reading: Dostoyevsky by André Gide (1925); Dostoevsky: His Life and Art by Avram Yarmolinsky (1957); Dostoevsky: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. by René Wellek (1962); Dostoevsky: His Life and Art by Konstantin Mochulsky (1967); Dostoevsky: An Examination of the Major Novels by Richard Peace (1971); The Underground Man in Russian Literature by Robert L. Jackson (1981); Dostoevsky by John Jones (1983); A Dostoevsky Dictionary by Richard Chapple (1983); Dostoevsky: The Stir of Liberation, 1860-1865 by Joseph Frank (1986); Fyodor Dostoevsky: A Writer's Life by Geir Kjetsaa (1987); Fyodor Dostoevsky by Peter Conradi (1988); Dostoevsky: The Author as Psychoanalyst by Louis Breger (1989); The Genesis of 'The Brothers Karamazov' by Robert L. Belknap (1990); Dostoevsky and the Woman Question by Nina Pelikan Straus (1994); Dostoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment' by Henry Buchanan (1996); Dostoevsky: The Mantle of the Prophet, 1871-1881 by Joseph Frank (2002); Who Was Dostoevsky?: Essays New and Revised by James L. Rice (2011); Dostoevsky's Political Thought, edited by Richard Avramenko and Lee Trepanier (2013); Dostoevsky and the Riddle of the Self by Yuri Corrigan (2017); Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Gathering Storm (1846-1847): A Life in Letters, Memoirs, and Criticism by Thomas Gaiton Marullo (2020); The Sinner and the Saint: Dostoevsky and the Gentleman Murderer Who Inspired a Masterpiece by Kevin Birmingham (2021); Dostoevsky's Convictional Theology Expressed in His Life and Literature by Dumitru Sevastian (2021); The Karamazov Case: Dostoevsky's Argument for His Vision by Terrence W. Tilley (2023) - See also influence on later writers: Kobo Abe, Georges Simenon. Dostoevsky museum: Kuznetsnyi pereulok 5/2, St. Petersburg.

Selected bibliography:

  • Bednyye lyudi, 1846
    - Poor Folk (translated by C.J. Hogarth, with The Gambler, 1916; Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1917; Robert Dessaix, 1982; David McDuff, in Poor Folk and Other Stories, 1988) / Poor People (translated by Olga Shartse, in Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Stories, 1999)
    - Köyhää väkeä (suom. Ida Pekari, 1960; Martti Anhava, 2008)
  • Dvoynik, 1846
    - The Double (translated by Constance Garnett, in Novels, 1917; George Bird, 1957; Jessie Coulson, in Notes from Underground, The Double, 1972; Evelyn Harden, as The Double: Two Versions, 1985)
    - Kaksoisolento (suom. Juhani Konkka, 1960); Kaksoisolento: pietarilaisrunoelma (suom. Olli Kuukajärvi, 2011)
  • Belye nochi, 1848
    - White Nights (translated by Constance Garnett, in White Nights and Other Stories, 1918; Alan Myers, in A Gentle Creature and Other Stories, 1995; Olga Shartse, in Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Stories, 1999)
    - Valoisia öitä (suom. -teini, 1896) / Vaaleat yöt (suom. Juhani Konkka, in Valitut kertomukset, 1960) / Valkeat yöt (suom. Eila Salminen,1981)
    - Films: 1934, dir. by Vera Stroyeva and Grigory Roshal; Le notti bianche, 1957, dir. by Luchino Visconti, starring Maria Schell, Marcello Mastroianni and Jean Marais; Belye nochi, 1959, dir. by Ivan Pyryev; Quatre nuits d'un rêveur, 1971, dir. by Robert Bresson, starring Isabelle Weingarten, Guillaume des Forêts and Maurice Monnoyer; Belye nochi, 1992, dir. by Leonid Kvinikhidze, starring Anna Matyukhina, Vadim Lyubshin and Galina Polskikh; White Nights, 2005, dir. by Alain Silver, starring Jilon VanOver, Carlita Pena Herrera and Mike Faiola 
  • Netochka Nezvanova, 1849
    - Netocha Nezvanova (translated by Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1920; Jane Kentish, 1985)
    - Netotška Nezvanova (suom. Veikko Koivumäki, 2008)
    - Film: L'Assassin musicien, 1976, dir. by Benoît Jacquot, starring Anna Karina, Joël Bion, Hélène Coulomb, Gunars Larsens,  Philippe March, Howard Vernon
  • Selo Stepanchikovo i yego obitateli, 1859
    - Friend of the Family and Other Stories (translated by Constance Garnett, 1920) / The Village of Stepanchikovo: And its Inhabitants (translated by Ignat Avsey, 1983)
    - Narri kartanon valtiaana (suom. Juhani Konkka; 1956, myös Markku Lahtela 1972)
  • Dyadyushkin son, 1859
    - Uncle's Dream; and, The Permanent Husband (translated by Frederick Whishaw, 1888) / Uncle's Dream (translated by Constance Garnett, in The Short Novels of Dostoevsky, 1953; Hugh Aplin, 2011) / Uncle's Dream and Other Stories (translated by David McDuff, 1989)
    - Vanhan ruhtinaan rakkaus (suom. Juhani Konkka, 1939)
  •  Zapiski iz myortvogo doma, 1861-62
    - Buried Alive; Or, Ten Years Penal Servitude in Siberia (tr. 1881) / The House of the Dead (translators: Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1915; David McDuff, 1958) / Memoirs from the House of the Dead (translated by Jessie Coulson, 1965)
    - Muistelmia kuolleesta talosta (suom. A.F.H., 1888; Ida Pekari, 1931; Lea Pyykkö, 1973; Markku Lahtela; 1980)
    - Film: Myortvyy dom, 1932, dir. by V. Fyodorov, starring Nikolay Khmelyov, Nikolai Podgorny and Nikolai Vitovtov; De la maison des morts, TV film 2008, dir. Stéphane Metge, starring Olaf Bär, Stoklossa Eric and Stefan Margita
  • Unizhennyye i oskorblyonnyye, 1861
    - The Insulted and Injured (translated by Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1915; Boris Jakim, 2011) / The Insulted and Humiliated (edited by Olga Shartse, 1957) / Humiliated and Insulted: From the Notes of an Unsuccessful Author (translated by Ignat Avsey, 2009)
    - Sorrettuja ja solvaistuja (suom. P.N., 1907) / Sorrettuja ja solvattuja (suom. Ida Pekari, 1961) / Alistetut ja loukatut (suom. Pekka Pesonen, 1993)
    - Films: Umiliati e offesi, TV film 1958, dir. Vittorio Cottafavi; Ponizeni i navredeni, TV film 1971, dir. Blagoj Andreev; Unizhennye i oskorblyonnye, 1991, dir. by Andrei Eshpaj, starring Nastassja Kinski, Nikita Mikhalkov and Anastasiya Vyazemskaya
  • Zimnie zametki na letnikh vpechatleniiakh, 1863
    - Summer Impressions (translated by Kyril FitzLyon, 1954)
    - Talvisia merkintöjä kesän vaikutelmista (suom. Tiina Kartano, 2009)
  • Zapiski iz podpolya, 1864
    - Letters from the Underworld (tr. 1915) / Notes from the Underground (translated by Constance Garnett, in White Nights and Other Stories, 1918; Andrew R. McAndrew, in Notes from Underground and Selected Stories, 1961; Jessica Coulson, in Notes from the Underground; The Double, 1972; Michael R. Katz, 1989; Jane Kentish, in Notes from the Underground and The Gambler, 1991; Boris Jakim, 2009; Kyril Zinovieff and Jenny Hughes, 2010)
    - Kellariloukko (suom. Valto Kallama, 1959) / Kirjoituksia kellarista (suom. Esa Adrian, 1973)
    - Films: Aikalainen, 1984, dir. by Timo Linnsalo, starring Paavo Piskonen, Kati Outinen and Rose-Marie Precht; El Hombre del subsuelo, 1981, dir. by Nicolás Sarquís; Notes from Underground, 1995 dir. by Gary Walkow, starring Henry Czerny, Seth Green, Jon Favreau, Sheryl Lee;  J'irai cracher sur vos tongs, 2005, dir. by Michel Toesca, starring Sacha Bourdo, Valérie Trajanovsky and Romain Longuépé 
  • Igrok, 1866
    - The Gambler (translated by C.J. Hogarth, with Poor Folk, 1916; Andrew R. MacAndrew, 1964; Jessie Coulson, in The Gambler; Bobok: A Nasty Story, 1966; Janet Kentish, in Notes from the Underground and The Gambler, 1991)
    - Pelaaja (suom. H.P., 1907) / Pelurit (suom. Juhani Konkka, 1959) / Peluri: nuoren miehen muistiinmerkintöjä (suom. Olli Kuukasjärvi, 2009)
    - Films: Die Rollende Kugel1, 1919, dir. by Rudolf Biebrach; Le Joueur/Der Spiler, 1938, dir. by Gerhard Lamprecht & Louis Daquin, starring Pierre Blanchar, Suzet Maïs and Viviane Romance; The Great Sinner, 1949, dir. by Robert Siodmark, script Christopher Isherwood and Ladislas Fodor, starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner and Melvyn Douglas; Le joueur, 1958, dir. by Claude Autant-Lara, starring Gérard Philipe, Liselotte Pulver and Françoise Rosay; Igrok, 1974, dir. by Aleksey Batalov, starring Nikolay Burlyaev, Lyubov Dobrzhanskaya and Jitka Zelenohorská ; 1997, dir. by Károly Makk, starring Michael Gambon, Jodhi May and Polly Walker; The Gambler, 2012, dir. Szabolcs Hajdu, starring Andi Vasluianu, Ion Sapdaru and Orsolya Török-Illyés
  • Prestupleniye i nakazaniye, 1866
    - Crime and Punishment (translators: Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1912-20; David Magarshack, 1951; Jessie Coulson, 1953; Sidney Monas, 1968; David McDuff, 1991; Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, 1993)
    - Rikos ja rangaistus (suom. M. Vuori, 1888-1889; O.N-nen, 1907-1908; J.A. Hollo, 1922; Juhani Konkka, 1970; Lea Pyykkö & M. Vuori, 1986; Olli Kuukasjärvi, 2008)
    - Films: Raskolnikow, 1923, dir. by Robert Wiene; Crime and Punishment, 1935, dir. by Josef von Sternberg, starring Edward Arnold, Peter Lorre and Marian Marsh; Crime et châtiment, 1935, dir. by Pierre Chenal, starring Harry Baur, Pierre Blanchar and Madeleine Ozeray; Brott och straff, 1945, dir. by Hampe Faustman, starring Hampe Faustman, Gunn Wållgren and Sigurd Wallén; Fear, 1946, dir.  Alfred Zeisler, starring Peter Cookson, Warren William and Anne Gwynne; Crimen y castigo, 1951, dir. Fernando de Fuentes; Crime et châtiment, 1956, dir. Georges Lampin, starring Jean Gabin, Marina Vlady and Ulla Jacobsson; Crime & Punishment, USA, 1959, dir. Denis Sanders, starring Mary Murphy, Frank Silvera and Marian Seldes; Prestuplenie i nakazanie, 1969, dir. by Lev Kulidzhanov, starring Georgi Taratorkin, Innokenti Smoktunovsky and Tatyana Bedova; Rikos ja rangaistus, 1983, dir. by Aki Kaurismäki, starring Markku Toikka, Aino Seppo and Esko Nikkari; Sin compasión 1994, dir. by Francisco J. Lombardi; Bajo la piel, 1996, dir. by Francisco J. Lombardi; 2002, dir. by Menahem Golan, starring Crispin Glover, Vanessa Redgrave and John Hurt 
  • Idiot, 1868-69
    - The Idiot (translated by Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1913; David Magarschack, 1954; Alan Myers, 1992; Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, 1993; Ignat Avsey, 2010)
    - Idiootti (suom. V.K. Trast, 1929; Juhani Konkka, 1968; Lea Pyykkö, 1979; Olli Kuukasjärvi, 2010)
    - Films: Idiot, 1910, dir. by Pyotr Tshardynin; Il Principe idiota, 1920, dir. by Eugenio Perego; L'Idiot, 1946, dir. by Georges Lampin, starring Gérard Philipe, Edwige Feuillère, Lucien Coëdel and Jean Debucour; Hakuchi, 1951, dir. by Akira Kurosawa, starring Setsuko Hara, Masayuki Mori and Toshirô Mifune; Idiot, 1958, dir. by Ivan Pyryev, starring Yuriy Yakovlev, Yuliya Borisova and Nikita Podgornyj; L'Amour braque, 1985, dir. by Andrzej Zulawski, starring Sophie Marceau, Francis Huster and Tchéky Karyo; Návrat idiota, 1999, dir. Sasa Gedeon, starring Pavel Liska, Anna Geislerová and Tatiana Vilhelmová; Daun Haus, 2000, dir. Roman Kachanov, starring, Ivan Okhlobystin and Anna Buklovskaya 
  • Vechnyi muzh, 1870
    - The Eternal Husband (translated by Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1917; David Magarshack, in Geat Short Works of Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1968; Hugh Aplin, 2007)
    - Ikuinen aviomies (suom. Juhani Konkka, 1960)
    - Films: Dezerter, 1992 dir. by Zivojin Pavlovic, starring Rados Bajic, Rade Serbedzija and Mirko Babic; The Eternal Husband, 1999, dir. by Chris Philpott, starring Richard Hughes, Paul Babiak and Mireille Dumont
  • Besy, 1872
    - The Possessed (translated by Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1913; Andrew R. MacAndrew, 1962) / The Devils (translators: David Magarshack, 1954; Michael R. Katz, 1992) / Demons (translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, 1994)
    - Riivaajat (suom. Ida Pekari, 1928; Lea Pyykkö, 1982)
    - Films:  Les Possédés, dir. by Andrzej Wajda, starring Isabelle Huppert, Jutta Lampe and Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu; Besy, 1992, dir. by Dmitri & Igor Talankin, starring Andrey Rudenskiy, Pyotr Yurchenkov and Dmitriy Pevtsov
  • Bobok, 1873
    - Bobok (translated by Jessie Coulson, in The Gambler; Bobok, A Nasty Story, 1966)
    - Bobok (suom. Eila Salminen, in Valkeat yöt, 1981)
  • Podrostok, 1875
    - A Raw Youth (translated by Constance Garnett, 1916) / An Accidental Family (translated by Richard Freeborn, 1994) / The Adolescent (translated by Andrew R. MacAndrew, 1971)
    - Keskenkasvuinen (suom. Ida Pekari, 1964)
  • Dnevnik pisatelya, 1876
    - The Diary of a Writer (translated by Boris Brasol, 1949)
    - Kirjailijan päiväkirja (suom. Olli Kuukasjärvi, 1996) / Kulta-aika taskussa (poimintoja Dnevnik pisateljasta vuodelta 1876, suom. Tiina Kartano, 2015) 
  • Krotkaia, 1876
    - A Gentle Spirit (translated by Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1917) / A Gentle Creature and Other Stories (translated by Alan Myers, 1995) / The Gentle Spirit (translated by David McDuff, 1996) / The Meek One (translated by Olga Shartse, in Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Stories, 1999)
    - Lempeäluontoinen: fantastillinen kertomus (suom. M. Vuori, 1887)
    - Film: Utskinari, 1991, dir. by Avtandil Varsimashvili, starring Lev Durov, Nino Tarkhan-Mouravi and Murman Jinoria
  • Son smeshnogo cheloveka, 1877
    - The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (translated by Constance Garnett, 1916; Olga Shartse, in Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Stories, 1999)
    - Naurettavan ihmisen uni (suom. Juhani Konkka, in Valitut kertomukset, 1960)
    - Film: Poseshcheniye, 1989, dir. by Valeri Tkachyov, starring Nikolai Ispolatov, Valeri Ivchenko and Dariya Shpalikova 
  • Bratya Karamazovy, 1879-80
    - The Brothers of Karamazov (translators: Constance Garnett, in The Novels, 1912; David Magarshack, 1958; Andrew R. MacAndrew, 1970; David McDuff, 1974; Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, 1990) / The Karamazov Brothers (translated by Ignat Avsey, 1994)
    - Karamazovin veljekset (suom. V. K. Trast, 1927; Lea Pyykkö, 1976; Martti Anhava, 2014)
    - Films: Die Brüder Karamasoff, 1920, dir. by Carl Froelich, starring Fritz Kortner, Bernhard Goetzke and Emil Jannings; Les frères Karamazoff, 1931, dir. Fyodor Otsep; Der Mörder Dimitri Karamasoff, 1931, dir. Erich Engels, Fedor Ozep; The Brothers Karamazov, 1958, dir. by Richard Brooks, starring Yul Brynner, Maria Schell, Claire Bloom, Albert Salmi, Lee J. Cobb; 1968, dir. by Kirill Lavrov, Ivan Pyryev, starring Mikhail Ulyanov, Lionella Pyryeva and Kirill Lavrov; Bratya Karamazovy, TV mini-series 2009, dir. Yuriy Moroz, starring Sergey Batalov, Anatoliy Belyy, Pavel Derevyanko, Aleksandr Golubev, Sergey Gorobchenko, Andrey Ilin, Sergey Koltakov, Dina Korzun, Natalya Lesnikovskaya, Elena Lyadova, Nikolay Stotskiy       
  • The Novels, 1912-20 (12 vols., translated by Constance Garnett)
  • Pis'ma k zhene, 1926 (ed. V.F. Pereverzev)
    - Letters to His Wife (tr. 1930)
  • Polnoe sobranie khudozhestvennykh proizvedenii, 1926-30 (13 vols.)
  • Sobranie sochinenii, 1956-58 (10 vols., ed. Leonid Grossman)
  • Occasional Writings, 1961
  • The Notebooks for "The Idiot" ["Crime and Punishment," The Possessed," "A Raw Youth," "The Brothers Karamazov"], 1967-71 (5 vols., edited by Edward Wasiolek)
  • Great Short Stories of Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1968 (translated by David Magarshack)
  • Neizdannyi Dostoevskii, 1971
    - The Unpublished Dostoevsky, 1973 (3 vols., translated by T. S. Berczynski and others)
  • Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 1972-90 (30 vols.)
  • Selected Letters, 1987 (translated by Andrew R. MacAndrew)
  • Poor Folk and Other Stories, 1988 (translated by David McDuff)
  • Complete Letters, 1989-91 (edited and translated by David Lowe, Ronald Meyer)
  • Uncle's Dream and Other Stories, 1989 (translated by David McDuff)
  • A Gentle Creature and Other Stories, 1995 (translated by Alan Myers)
  • Dostoevsky's Occasional Writings, 1997 (translated by David Magarshack)
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Stories, 1999 (first printing 1971; translated by Olga Shartse and Ivy Litvinov)
  • Pis'ma F.M. Dostoevskogo iz igornogo doma, 2001 (edited by R. Nekliudov)
  • Dnevnik, stat'i, zapisnye knizhki, 2004 (3 vols.)
  • Dostoevskii i zhurnalizm, 2013 (edited by Vladimira Zakharova, Karena Stepaniana, Borisa Tikhomirova)
  • The Notebooks for Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 2017 (edited, translated and with an Introduction by Edward Wasiolek)
  • Notes from a Dead House, 2021 (translated from the Russian by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky; with an introduction by Richard Pevear)
  • A Bad Business: Essential Stories, 2021 (translated by Nicolas Pasternak Slater, Maya Slater)

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