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'Notes from Underground' (1864) is a study of a single character, 'the real man of the Russian majority', and a revelation of Dostoyevsky's own deepest beliefs. One of his best critics has said of the first part that it forms his 'most utterly nakedpages.Never afterwards was he so fully and openly to reveal the inmost recesses, unmeant for display, of his heart.'
'The Double' (1846) is the nightmarish story of Mr Golyadkin, a amn who is haunted or possessed by his own double. Is 'Mr Golyadkinjunior' really a double or simply a earful side of his own nature? This uncertainty is what gives urgency and horror to a tale which may be read as a classic study of human breakdown.
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Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. His debut, the epistolary novella Poor Folk(1846), made his name. In 1849 he was arrested for involvement with the politically subversive 'Petrashevsky circle' and until 1854 he lived in a convict prison in Omsk, Siberia. From this experience came The House of the Dead (1860-2). In 1860 he began the journal Vremya (Time). Already married, he fell in love with one of his contributors, Appollinaria Suslova, eighteen years his junior, and developed a ruinous passion for roulette. After the death of his first wife, Maria, in 1864, Dostoyevsky completed Notes from Underground and began work towards Crime and Punishment (1866). The major novels of his late period are The Idiot (1868), Demons(1871-2) and The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80). He died in 1881.
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