The Rustling of Cockroaches

Gary Saul Morson

  • Dostoevsky: The Miraculous Years, 1865-1871 by Joseph Frank
    Robson, 512 pp, £27.95, March 1995, ISBN 0 86051 953 8

Between 1865 and 1871 Dostoevsky wrote three of the world’s greatest novels, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Possessed – and two remarkable novellas, The Gambler and The Eternal Husband. He also conceived two other major works he never managed to write, and maintained a furious correspondence containing some of his most profound statements on art, society, religion and the creative process. Joseph Frank’s biography calls these years ‘miraculous’ yet the conditions under which Dostoevsky was working were anything but splendid.

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