Alex and Emma - ON TIME

ON TIME (Illustration) Fiction Geography Film

This image depicts a pack of Dostoevsky’s cigarettes. The handwriting on the back of the box is his daughter’s (Lyubov Dostoyevskaya). Translated into English, the words are:  “January 28, 1881, today my Dad died.”


With Anna's help, the novel took shape. Always more practical than her future husband, Anna gave Dostoevsky good advice.

Stellovsky didn't want the book on time - he wanted unfettered rights to all Fyodor's work for the next decade. Would the publisher anxiously await the manuscript - or - would he close his shop on November 1st so no one was there to receive the book?

A rogue is a rogue, especially when the deck is stacked in his favor. Stellovsky left town. No one was in his office to receive the manuscript. Anticipating that event, Anna had convinced Fyodor to deliver the book to the police station where he could receive a time-dated receipt. He met the deadline with two hours to spare.

Anna and Fyodor were married soon after The Gambler was finished. (The link depicts their published correspondence from 1867.) They were devoted parents of four children. Two ('Fedya,' a son, and Lyubov, a daughter) survived.

Another son, Alexei, inherited his father's epilepsy. Called 'Alyosha,' by his family, the little boy died after a two-hour seizure. His parents' grief was immeasurable.

But ... like so much of Dostoevsky's fiction ... the reality of life became the art of his novels. The distraught parents sought the help of Ambrosius, a Russian Orthodox monk, who later became Father Zosima in Brothers Karamazov.

Dostoevsky continued to play the roulette wheel during the early years of his second marriage. But love of family helped him nurture his extraordinary writing gift. He finished the epilogue of his masterpiece, Brothers Karamazov, two months before he died on January 28, 1881.

Three days before, he had fallen ill at his St. Petersburg apartment. No one expected him to die. But on the morning of the 28th, the writer told Anna that day would be his last.

She didn't believe him - perhaps he was hallucinating. But at his insistence, Anna (who survived him by many years) summoned the children. He told them good-bye.

Not long before midnight, resting on the sofa in his study, he was gone. (This is his death mask.) His beloved copy of Raphael's 'The Sistine Madonna,' looked down on him. The immediate cause of death was hemorrhage of the throat.

Thousands of people came to his funeral. He was buried in the Trinity (Tikhvin) Cemetery at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery in St. Petersburg where his final resting place is not far from that of the composer Tchaikovsky (1840-1893). People, from all over the world, still visit his grave.

Perhaps it is his subject matter which still draws people to him. The human character, with all its failings and abilities, is still the most interesting subject of all.

But it was Dostoevsky's skill in penetrating the psyche's exterior, reaching into the depths of a person's soul, that endeared him to 19th century Russians. And it is that unusual ability to understand, and then to articulate, the human condition which likely explains his popularity today.


NOTE: Public-domain images of Dostoevsky and his life are available in many books written by scholars. The most extensive source for such images is the following Russian-language book: Uriy Seleznev - "Dostoevsky". M., Publishing House "Molodaya gvardiya", 1985.
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2003

Updated Last Revision: Dec 29, 2016

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"ON TIME" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2003. Feb 17, 2020.
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