Poor Folk and Other Stories: "Poor Folk"; The "Landlady"; "Mr Prokharchin"; "Polzunkov" (Classics) Paperback – 24 Nov 1988
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
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.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
The first two stories, `Poor Folk' and `The Landlady', have essentially the same theme as "White Nights' (not in this bundle).
The differences between the three treatments illustrate perfectly this evolution: from foggy, indirect, tearful prose, over generating intriguing questions marks and confusing psychology, to direct, sharp storytelling with unexpected U-turns and psycho-shocks; in one word, from expressing emotions to arousing them in the heart of the reader.
Dostoyevsky's first short novel (in letters) is a sentimental, colorless and in no way a subtle text, where literature is `a picture and a mirror, an expression of emotion, a subtle form of criticism, a didactic lesson and a document.'
However, art constitutes an essential part of the story. When the vulgar opinion that `novels were the ruin of young girls, that books were harmful to morality', overwhelms a young girl, the relationship is broken.
This story, where a poor lodger falls in love with the young wife of an old man, is not a typical Dostoyevsky text, because it uses some kind of `supernatural' elements, like the confusing mental nature of the female protagonist. It contains, however, a typical Dostoyevskyan wrap-up.
Mr Prokharchin, Polzunkov
`Mr Prokharchin' is a sharp psychological portrait of `an unconventional capitalist'.
`Polzunkov' is a superb persiflage of a corrupt bureaucracy, where a bribe-taker under blackmail is forced to pay a bribe himself. An April Fool's Day joke gives him an opportunity to take revenge on the blackmailer.
This bundle is not a good introduction to Dostoyevsky's work.
Far better are other short novels/stories like `White Nights', `The Gambler', `The Eternal Husband' or `Uncle's dream'.
But, highly recommended to all Dostoyevsky fans.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In summary, if you want to read a Dostoyevsky's book, this is probably not the one you should pick. If you want to read a love story, 'Poor Folk' is not the greatest one you will find. The only reason to read this book is either to review Dostoyevsky's work or to understand the evolution of the writer.
1844 St Petersburg Russia
Makar Alekseyevich Devushkin 47 year old clerk living in abject poverty (he lives in a section of the kitchen!). The other tenants include the Gorshkovs who are so poor their son is constantly groaning in hunger! Because of his shy nature he is a target for the office bullies,
Varvara Alekseyevna Dobroselova his 2nd cousin, twice removed, who lives on the same street also in poverty. Barbara (in my translation) Dobroselova is the one ray of light in Makar Devushkin,s world where he escapes his wretched living conditions in the books he so loves. Barbara father has died after losing his job and becoming a violent drunk, She and her severly depressed mother live with the abusive landlord Anna Fydorovna.
Barbara crushes on her tutor, the impoverished student Pokrovsky, whose father is also a drunk. Pokrovsky soon dies of illness and even his dying wish to see the sun is greeted by the sight of a gloomy sky and pouring rain. Then her mother dies! Barbara flees the landlord to live across the street with Fedora. Devushkin and Barbara exchange many letters and books. Devushkin is unable to earn enough money to keep a roof over his head and is about to be on the street, when his employer gives him 100 rubles to buy new clothes. Devushkin instead sends some to Barbara. Things are also looking up for the Gorshkovs when they receive funds from a court case, then the father dies. Finally Barbara decides to marry the horrible but middle class Mr. Bykov who will take her far away.
The work has been translated to English at least 8 times (under two titles 'Poor People' and 'Poor Folk'). First published in english 50 years after it was written. The edition I read is from the Modern Library dated 1917 - it doesn't list the translator however the publisher is Boni & Liveright and research finds the translator listed as C.J. Hogarth (Charles James Hogarth, Highland Light Infantry 1890, Scott's Sharpshooters in Boer War, born 7 December 1869, educated Charterhouse, died 5 April 1945.).
“Before you there lie the Steppes, my darling—only the Steppes, the naked Steppes, the Steppes that are as bare as the palm of my hand. 'There' there live only heartless old women and rude peasants and drunkards. 'There' the trees have already shed their leaves. 'There' abide but rain and cold.”
“I do not know what I am writing, I never do know what I am writing. I could not possibly know, for I never read over what I have written, nor correct it's orthography. At the present moment I am writing merely for the sake of writing, and to put as much as possible into this last letter of mine. . . Ah, dearest, my pet, my own darling! . . .”
Look for similar items by category