Ignat Avsey

The Village of Stepanchikovo
  • The Village of Stepanchikovo

  • Summoned to the country estate of his wealthy uncle Colonel Yegor Rostanev, the young student Sergey Aleksandrovich finds himself thrown into a startling bedlam. For as he soon sees, his meek and kind-hearted uncle is wholly dominated by a pretentious and despotic pseudo-intellectual named Opiskin, a charlatan who has ingratiated himself with Yegor’s mother and now holds the entire household under his thumb. Watching the absurd theatrics of this domestic tyrant over forty-eight explosive hours, Sergey grows increasingly furious - until at last, he feels compelled to act. A compelling comic exploration of petty tyranny, The Village of Stepanchikovo reveals a delight in life’s wild absurdities that rivals even Gogol’s. It also offers a fascinating insight into the genesis of the characters and situations of many of Dostoyevsky’s great later novels, including The Idiot, Devils and The Brothers Karamazov.

Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. His debut, the epistolary novella Poor Folk(1846), made his name. In 1849 he was arrested for involvement with the politically subversive 'Petrashevsky circle' and until 1854 he lived in a convict prison in Omsk, Siberia. From this experience came The House of the Dead (1860-2). In 1860 he began the journal Vremya (Time). Already married, he fell in love with one of his contributors, Appollinaria Suslova, eighteen years his junior, and developed a ruinous passion for roulette. After the death of his first wife, Maria, in 1864, Dostoyevsky completed Notes from Underground and began work towards Crime and Punishment (1866). The major novels of his late period are The Idiot (1868), Demons(1871-2) and The Brothers Karamazov (1879-80). He died in 1881.

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