Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Great Russian writer

"To love someone means to see them as God intended them"

Dostoevsky and Tolstoy are an inextricable link between two geniuses

“You and I can be in the same room and not communicate with each other. Fyodor Dostoevsky and Leo Tolstoy also found themselves in the same hall in 1877.

It was at a lecture by the philosopher Vladimir Solovyov. They were in the same room, but did not meet and did not talk. This was the only time when Dostoevsky and Tolstoy found themselves in the same space. In the same hall was their mutual friend, with whom they actively corresponded, Nikolai Strakhov. But for some reason he did not introduce Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Subsequently, both great writers regretted it very much. Despite the fact that Tolstoy and Dostoevsky never met each other and did not write a single line of a letter to each other, they followed each other’s work very closely.

Dostoevsky in the “Diary of a Writer” in 1877 devoted several chapters to Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina”. He read this work very carefully. Tolstoy, in turn, also read Dostoevsky, and maybe one of the pleasant moments for Dostoevsky shortly before his passing away was a letter from Leo Tolstoy to the above-mentioned Nikolai Strakhov, who handed the paper to Dostoevsky. What was said in this letter of September 26, 1880? Tolstoy wrote: “The other day I was unwell, and I read The Dead House. I’ve forgotten a lot, reread, and I don’t know any better books from all the new literature, including Pushkin. Not the tone, but the point of view is amazing: true, natural and Christian. A good, edifying book. I enjoyed the whole day yesterday as I haven’t enjoyed it for a long time. If you see Dostoevsky, tell him that I love him.” Strakhov ran with this letter to Dostoevsky. The great writer was even embarrassed by the fact that Tolstoy rated his work higher than Pushkin’s. Tolstoy was really shocked by Dostoevsky’s “Dead House”.

Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were separated by only seven years. They are, one might say, almost the same age, people of the same generation. Today there are people in our hall who are seven years older or younger than each other, and there is no feeling that they are different generations. Unfortunately, Dostoevsky lived significantly less than Tolstoy. Many ideological changes with Tolstoy happened exactly after the 1880s, after the death of Dostoevsky. When Dostoevsky died, Tolstoy wrote absolutely piercing lines: “How I wish I could say everything I feel about Dostoevsky. I had never seen this man and had never had a direct relationship with him; and suddenly, when he died, I realized that he was the closest, dearest, necessary person to me. And it never occurred to me to measure myself against him, never. Everything he did (good, real, what he did) was that the more he did, the better off I was. Art makes me envious, so does the mind, but the work of the heart is only joy. I considered him to be my friend and I didn’t think otherwise than that we would see each other and that now I just didn’t have to, but that it was mine. And suddenly I read, he died. Some kind of support bounced off me. I was confused, and then it became clear how dear he was to me, and I cried and now I’m crying.” We still feel now that people like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky are needed by our culture, as they are in demand and superactual,” Vladimir Tolstoy said.