By Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alan Myers (trans)
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Additional info for A Gentle Creature and Other Stories
Uncle’s Dream Stepanchikovo Village 1861 Begins publication of a new literary monthly, Vremia, founded by himself and his brother Mikhail (January). The Emancipation of the Serfs. The Insulted and the Injured A Series of Essays on Literature 1861–2 Memoirs from the House of the Dead 1862 His first visit to western Europe, including England and France. 1863 Winter Notes on Summer Impressions Vremia is closed by the authorities for political reasons. 1864 Launches a second journal, Epokha (March).
Moved by sentiment, she cries out to the dreamer: ‘but, you know what crossed my mind just now? I won’t talk about that now, though, just, you know, in general; it’s been in my mind for a long time. Listen, why can’t we all behave like brothers to one another? ’ Her subsequent unwitting destruction of the dreamer’s hopes of happiness, when she leaves him for her lover, betrays the naivety of such idealism, which overlooks the egoism, sensualism, and will to power that drive human behaviour. Dostoevsky recognized that in this imperfect world human relations are based not on mutual love, but on the clash of egos.
There is no doubt, though, that Dostoevsky was affected by Belinsky’s criticisms of The Landlady, and it is possible to see White Nights as the author’s attempt to re-work the theme of the dreamer in a more lucid fashion. Gone from it is the grotesque and threatening atmosphere of the earlier tale, which derived from Ordynov’s inability to distinguish fantasy from reality. The greater clarity of mind of the hero/narrator of White Nights invests the work with a new sobriety and detachment. Indeed, the world of the dreamer seems at first to be seductively ideal.
A Gentle Creature and Other Stories by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alan Myers (trans)