Written as a sequence of letters, Poor People narrate the tragic tale of a petty clerk and his hopeless love for a young girl. Eager to help her and her family, he sells all that he can, but his generosity leads him only into more desperate poverty, and finally into abandonment. As the object of his desire looks sadly and helplessly on, he -- the typical ‘man of the underground’ -- becomes more and more convinced of the belief that gladness can only be accomplished with riches. Theirs is a troubled, frustrated love that can only lead to sorrow.
Few authors have been so well received, from their very first appearance in literature, as Dostoyevsky was. In 1845 he arrived in St. Petersburg, a quite unknown young man who only two years before had finished his education in a school of military engineers, and after having spent two years in the engineering service had abandoned it with the intention of devoting himself to literature.
He was only twenty-four when he wrote his first novel, Poor People, which his school comrades, Grigorovich, gave to the poet Nekrasov, offering it for a literary almanac. Dostoyevsky had inwardly doubted whether the novel would even be read by the editor. He was living then in a miserable room, when his comrades knocked at his door. They threw themselves on Dostoyevsky's neck, congratulating him with tears in their eyes.
Nekrasov and his friend had begun to read the novel late in the evening; they couldn’t stop reading till they came to the end, and thy were so deeply impressed by it that they couldn’t help going on his nocturnal expedition to see the author and tell him what they felt. A few days later Dostoevski was introduced to the great critic of the time, Belinsky, and from him he received the same warm reception. As to the reading public, the novel produced a quite sensation. The same must be said about all subsequent novels of Dostoyevsky. They had an immense sale over Russia.
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Hesperus Press, as suggested by their Latin motto, Et remotissima prope, is dedicated to bringing near what is far—far both in space and time. Works by illustrious authors, often unjustly neglected or simply little known in the English–speaking world, are made accessible through a completely fresh editorial approach or new translations. Through these short classic works, which feature forewords by leading contemporary authors, the modern reader will be introduced to the greatest writers of Europe and America. An elegantly designed series of exceptional books.From the Inside Flap:
What is honour, my dear, when you have nothing to eat?
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Book Description Raduga Publishers, 1988. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M505001669X