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By Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Robert A. Magure (trans.); Robert Belknap (ed.)

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These were years of political tension in all these countries, culminating in France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) and the frightening Paris Commune of 1871, several of whose leaders fled when it collapsed to Swiss cantons, including Uri, that had no extradition treaties. But Europe meant more to Dostoyevsky than revolutionary unrest. It was the repository of traditional high culture. He completely ignored the emerging Impressionists and Symbolists, but he would gaze obsessively at Holbein’s Deposition of Christ in Basel or Raphael’s Sistine Madonna in Dresden.

1868 Birth of daughter, Sofia, who dies only three months old. The Idiot published in serial form. 1869 Birth of daughter, Lyubov. The Nechayev Affair — Ivan Ivanov is murdered by fellow members of a clandestine revolutionary cell led by Sergey Nechayev. 1870 V. I. Lenin is born in the town of Simbirsk, on the banks of the Volga. Defeat of France in Franco-Prussian War. The Eternal Husband published. 1871 Moves back to St Petersburg with his wife and family. Birth of son, Fyodor. 1871–2 Serial publication of Demons.

5 He already believed this in the 1870s. His initial characterization of Pyotr Stepanovich Verkhovensky emphasizes something that the horror of Nechayev’s actions and enunciated doctrines had obscured: he was on what a later generation would call an ego trip. Stavrogin lives centrally in the Society Tale plot and secondarily in the Anti-Nihilist plot, while Pyotr Stepanovich lives primarily in the Anti-Nihilist plot and secondarily in the Society Tale. The Psychological Novel links Pyotr Stepanovich’s outrageousness and Stavrogin’s mental and marital states not to Society, but to the ways they dominate Shatov’s and Kirillov’s wildly different modes of thought; Lizaveta Nikolayevna’s, Darya Pavlovna’s and Marya Ignatyevna’s wildly different kinds of desire; Varvara Petrovna’s and Stepan Trofimovich’s social existence; and each other’s dreams of an anti-utopia, which somehow become contagious enough to infect the youth of the town and many of their servile elders.

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