Fyodor Dostoevsky: The 3 Reasons Dostoevsky Is Famous Today

Born11th of November, 1821
Died9th of February, 1881
Famous Quote“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn’t calculate his happiness.”
Known ForPhilosophical writer exploring human condition in 19th century Russia, laying foundation for modern literature.
Region of WorldRussia, 19th century.

Fyodor Dostoevsky is one of the most famous writers of all time. He was born in Russia during the 19th century. Over the course of his very hard life he would write several best selling novels.

There are 3 reasons Fyodor Dostoevsky is so famous today. First, His very hard life in exile. Second, His philosophy on authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Third, his lasting impact on the development of national novels.

Because of his publications Fyodor Dostoevsky would be exiled and thrown into a harsh Russian prison camp. While in this camp he would begin to form his views on totalitarianisms and how to prevent it. This would become a recurring theme throughout his life’s work.

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Without further ado; here are the 3 reasons Fyodor Dostoevsky is so famous today.

The Hardships of Fyodor Dostoevsky

One of the main reasons for Fyodor Dostoevsky’s fame was due to his extremely hard life.

Dostoevsky had two careers over the course of his life. From an early age he was taught to be a military engineer in the Tsar’s army. However, even during his time at the academy his classmates noticed the significant lack of enthusiasm that Dostoevsky had towards military service.

Fyodor Dostoevsky was a valiant man who would routinely protect those less fortunate than himself but he cared little for military life. Instead he chose to dedicate himself towards the world of literature and religious studies.

In May of 1845 Dostoevsky wrote his first novel Poor Folk. This novel propelled Dostoevsky towards literary success and he renounced his military service to continue his literary career.

However, Dostoevsky in an effort to network started entering into literature circles that circulated forbidden manuscripts critical of Tsar Nicholas I reign.

Because of this eventually Dostoevsky would be exiled to a forced prison work camp in Siberia. In this prison camp 200 people would be confined to a barracks fit for a size of 50 people.

Across these 200 people there was one bathroom. As a result filth would pile up and disease became commonplace among the prisoners.

However, this was nothing compared to the punishment that Fyodor Dostoevsky faced as the Tsar labeled him as one of the most dangerous convicts.

For 4 years Fyodor Dostoevsky had his hands and feet shackled to a wall. He was only permitted to be released to read his bible. As a result of this imprisonment Dostoevsky lost significant amounts of weight, developed seizures, hemorrhoids, and was plagued with a nonstop fever for the entirety of his four year sentence.

In spite of all of this his fellow prisoners described Dostoevsky as a likable man who on times would offer kind words to his fellow inmates.

Because of this hard life Dostoevsky’s fame exploded over the coming centuries. This is a direct reason why he is so famous today.

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Philosophical View on Totalitarianism and Authoritarianism

One of the main reasons for Fyodor Dostoevsky’s fame was his influential views of totalitarianism and authoritarianism.

Even though Fyodor Dostoevsky was imprisoned by the Tsar he was in favor of an authoritarian state controlled by a single person. However, Dostoevsky was not in favor of totalitarianism.

Fyodor Dostoevsky viewed an effective government where the monarch held complete power but was forced to listen to the wills of the people. Further, Dostoevsky hated the idea of a constitution as it would eventually be manipulated to control the citizen body.

Further, Dostoevsky saw democracies as inherently backwards. Stating historical examples such as France in 1790 and the Roman Republic Dostoevsky argued that democracies only serve to benefit the influential in society.

Instead the ideal government for Dostoevsky consisted of two groups. First, the monarch who would be able to act for the good of the state in accord with the people’s desires. Second, the people at large. This second group of people would hold no classes within society and would be treated equally.

However, Dostoevsky acknowledged that a monarch left unchecked could lead to totalitarianism. It was the job of the people to influence the whims of the monarch.

This was an incredibly different viewpoint than Dostoevsky’s radical contemporaries who were in favor of mimicking democratic forms of government.

As a result of this radical philosophical viewpoint Fyodor Dostoevsky remains today one of the most famous authors of all time.

Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Impact Upon Literature and National Novels

Above all reasons for Dostoevsky’s fame the main reason was his advancement of the field of Russian literature.

Before Dostoevsky Russian literature was simple and attempted to mimic western Latin prose. Dostoevsky however developed his own style that today is a hallmark of national novel literature.

The Dostoevsky style of writing is highly evocative of the darkest aspects of a society. Often themes such as poverty, prison, humanity, and self psychological morality come into his works.

However, Dostoevsky would take this one step further by introducing the concept of polyphony into his work. This literary construct would be when the main character of a novel feels a certain way but another character explains it.

This literary construct was perfected under Dostoevsky who constantly used it to analyze his own contemporary society. All national novels today use this style of writing to guide the reader down a moral path.

Because of the creation of this literary device a whole genre of literature would stem up. Incredibly famous people such as Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud considered him to be one of the most intelligent people in history.

Other philosophers such as the famous Fredrich Nietzsche would state that Dostoyevsky remains one of the most influential writers of the modern era.

As a result Dostoyevsky’s fame would skyrocket during the Soviet Union where he was seen as a national icon of soviet philosophy and literature.

Because of his literary ability Fyodor Dostoevsky remains one of the most famous authors of all time.


There you have it; an entire article detailing the 3 reasons that Fyodor Dostoevsky is famous today.

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