Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Great Russian writer

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

Dostoevsky ‘s Youth

In May 1837, the father took the brothers Mikhail and Fyodor to St. Petersburg and assigned them to the K. F. Kostomarov preparatory boarding school for admission to the Main Engineering School.

Mikhail and Fyodor Dostoevsky wanted to study literature, but their father believed that the writer’s work would not be able to ensure the future of their eldest sons, and insisted on their admission to an engineering school, the service at the end of which guaranteed material well-being. In the Writer’s Diary, Dostoevsky recalled how, on the way to St. Petersburg with his brother, “we dreamed only of poetry and poets,” “and I was continuously composing a novel from Venetian life in my mind”. The older brother was not accepted into the school. The younger one studied with difficulty, having no vocation for future service. In the same year, their father, with the rank of collegiate adviser, left the service (during which he was awarded the Orders of St. Vladimir of the 4th degree — 1829 and St. Anna of the 2nd degree — 1832) and settled in Darovo, where in 1839, under circumstances not fully clarified, he died.

Dostoevsky devoted all his free time to reading the works of Homer, Corneille, Racine, Balzac, Hugo, Goethe, Hoffmann, Schiller, Shakespeare, Byron, Russian authors — Derzhavin, Lermontov, Gogol, and knew almost all the works of Pushkin by heart. Russian Russian geographer Semenov-Tyan-Shansky recalled that Dostoevsky was “more educated than many Russian writers of his time, such as Nekrasov, Panaev, Grigorovich, Pleshcheyev and even Gogol himself”.

Inspired by what he had read, the young man took his own first steps in literary creativity at night. In the autumn of 1838, fellow students at the Engineering School, under the influence of Dostoevsky, organized a literary circle, which included I. I. Berezhetsky, N. I. Vitkovsky, A. N. Beketov and D. V. Grigorovich. In June 1839, Fyodor received tragic news about the sudden death of his father, which followed from an apoplexy caused by a conflict with his own peasants.

After graduating from college in 1843, Dostoevsky was enrolled as a field engineer-second lieutenant in the St. Petersburg Engineering team, but at the beginning of the summer of the following year, having decided to devote himself entirely to literature, he resigned and on October 19, 1844, he received a discharge from military service with the rank of lieutenant.