White Nights (1848) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

An emotionally devastating novella with Dostoyevsky’s usual psychological depth.

It’s amazing how can so quickly, with so much clarity, sketch a character out three-dimensionally, make them as alternately endearing and irritating as any real person, make them feel “lived-in”, not like a writerly construct just for a story.

whitenights

The psyche of the nameless narrator is such a common one among people today, I can think of a number of communities online that exemplify a very similar sort of thinking. Dostoyevsky really does capture timeless attitudes and states of mind.

The loneliness, the love, the youth, the decay, the sentimentality, the misery, it all melds together in such a real way. I give it four letters, and a bench.

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