Composed entirely of an exchange of letters between a middle-aged copy clerk and a young seamstress who live on opposite sides of a Petersburg tenement courtyard, the novel explores the emotional and psychological effects of a threatening urban environmen
Poor Folk, Dostoevsky’s first novel, released in 1846, occupies a position of particular interest and importance in the history of Russian literature, as it represents the confluence of important literary traditions, especially the influence of Gogol. While a natural starting point for anyone who reads Dostoevsky, the author made a point of saying that the style of the novel was not his. Robert Dessaix’s introduction to this edition focuses on the history of styles that Dostoevsky used in this very self-consciously literary debut.
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About the Author
With his sympathetic portrayals of the downtrodden of 19th-century Russian society, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (18211881) exercised immense influence on modern writers. His novels featured profound philosophical and psychological insights that anticipated the development of psychoanalysis and existentialism.