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White Nights and Other Stories Paperback – Nov 24 2008
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About the Author
Born in Moscow in 1821, Foydor Dostoyevsky is considered to be one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature. Dostoyevsky was incarcerated in 1849 for being part of the liberal intellectual group the Petrashevsky Circle. He also suffered from an acute gambling compulsion. Crime and Punishment was completed in a mad hurry because he was in urgent need of an advance from his publisher. Motivated by the dual wish to escape his creditors at home and to visit the casinos abroad, Dostoyevsky travelled to Western Europe in 1862. He visited France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and England. In London he attended the 1862 World's Fair and had a first-hand look at the Crystal Palace, the architectural wonder of the age. The image of the Crystal Palace, which for progressive critics symbolized the dawning of a new age of reason and harmony, was to loom large in Dostoevsky's works to come, especially Notes from Underground and Crime and Punishment. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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An Honest Thief
An Unpleasant Predicament
Another Man's Wife
The Peasant Marey
The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
A Christmas Tree and a Wedding
A Faint Heart
All of these stories are translated by Constance Garnett. Although serious Dostoyevsky scholars tend to be critical of Garnett's work, I find these translations to be enjoyable to read. My only complaint is that Dover didn't include more of Dostoyevky's work (e.g., "Novel in Nine Letters", "Mr. Prokharchin"). At only 256 pages, it seems that there is room for a few more. However, given the extremely low price of this book, I still give it five stars.
This edition brings together ten of his short stories, of varying lengths. His most famous, most popular short story is the surrealistic Crocodile. As far as style, it is ahead of its time, anticipating the genre of “magical realism.” It is about a man who is swallowed whole by a crocodile that is on exhibition. Instead of dying, her remains alive inside the animal and communicates freely with persons outside the reptile. As with so many of his characters the victim pompously gives forth utopian theories that all must adhere to.
Crocodile, Bobok, and Another Man’s Wife shows that Dostoyevsky had a great sense of humor, something that seems to be out of character for those who are acquainted with his tragic novels and his equally tragic life. In this, he is like Edgar Allan Poe, who is famous for his Gothic stories and his tragic life, but who also had a great sense of humor. With both men, the tragedy has tended to eclipse the humor.
Another characteristic of Dostoyevsky that one finds both in his novels and in the short stories, White Night, An Unpleasant Predicament, A faint heart and An Honest thief is the ambivalence of some of his characters; they go back and forth in intent as to their plan of action, or of their feelings.
As to this volume, I heartily recommend these literary tidbits. They are thoroughly stimulating and enjoyable. And, as with all of Dover publications, the price is a bargain.
Second of all, dover thrift is AWESOME. Seriously, I love them so much. Everything is so ridiculously cheap plus prime eligible so free shipping?!?! Don't hesitate, just buy it, theres no need to think.