Notes from a Dead House

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From the acclaimed translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky comes a new translation of the first great prison memoir: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s fictionalized account of his life-changing penal servitude in Siberia.

In 1849 Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years at hard labor in a Siberian prison camp for his participation in a utopian socialist discussion group. The account he wrote after his release, based on notes he smuggled out, was the first book to reveal life inside the Russian penal system. The book not only brought him fame but also founded the tradition of Russian prison writing.

Notes from a Dead House (sometimes translated as The House of the Dead) is filled with vivid details of brutal punishments, shocking conditions, feuds and betrayals, and the psychological effects of the loss of freedom, but it also describes moments of comedy and acts of kindness. There are grotesque bathhouse and hospital scenes that seem to have come straight from Dante’s Inferno, alongside daring escape attempts, doomed acts of defiance, and a theatrical Christmas celebration that draws the entire community together in a temporary suspension of their grim reality.

To get past government censors, Dostoevsky made his narrator a common-law criminal rather than a political prisoner, but the perspective is unmistakably his own. His incarceration was a transformative experience that nourished all his later works, particularly Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky’s narrator discovers that even among the most debased criminals there are strong and beautiful souls. His story reveals the prison as a tragedy both for the inmates and for Russia; it is, finally, a profound meditation on freedom: “The prisoner himself knows that he is a prisoner; but no brands, no fetters will make him forget that he is a human being.” 


From the Hardcover edition.
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This carefully crafted ebook: “The Greatest Works of Dostoevsky: Crime and Punishment + The Brother's Karamazov + The Idiot + Notes from Underground + The Gambler + Demons (The Possessed / The Devils)” contains 6 books in one volume and is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. Table of Contents: Crime and Punishment The Brother's Karamazov The Idiot Notes from Underground The Gambler Demons (The Possessed / The Devil Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) was a Russian novelist and short-story writer. His writing is steeped in deep psychology and the exploration of human nature, while it also accurately depicts the Russian reality of his times. Dostoyevsky is usually regarded as one of the finest novelists who ever lived. In his time he was also renowned for his activity as a journalist. Each of Dostoevsky´s works is famous for its psychological profundity, and, indeed, Dostoyevsky is commonly regarded as one of the greatest psychologists in the history of literature. He specialized in the analysis of pathological states of mind that lead to insanity, murder, and suicide and in the exploration of the emotions of humiliation, self-destruction, tyrannical domination, and murderous rage. These major works are also renowned as great “novels of ideas” that treat timeless and timely issues in philosophy and politics. Psychology and philosophy are closely linked in Dostoyevsky’s portrayals of intellectuals, who “feel ideas” in the depths of their souls.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Mar 24, 2015
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780307959607
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Political
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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