Museum-apartment of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is a memorial museum dedicated to the work of the writer Fyodor Dostoevsky. It is located in the former building of the Mariinsky Hospital, in the wing of which from 1821 to 1837 the family of a publicist lived. The museum was founded in 1928, in 1940 it became part of the State Literary Museum. From 2018, the exposition includes antique furniture, family photographs, as well as personal items of the Dostoevsky family.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian dore. Fedor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky; October 30 [ November 11 ] 1821, Moscow, Russian Empire – January 28 [ February 9 ] 1881, St. Petersburg, Russian Empire) – Russian writer, thinker, philosopher and publicist. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences since 1877.
Both at the beginning and the continuation of his literary work, after four years of hard labor and exile for participating in the circle Petrashevsky Dostoevsky acted as an innovator in the tradition of Russian realism that was not widely appreciated contemporaries during the writer’s life.
After his death, Dostoevsky was recognized as a classic of Russian literature and one of the best novelists of world significance, is considered the first representative of personalism in Russia. The work of the Russian writer had an impact on world literature, in particular, on the work of a number of Nobel Prize winners in literature, on the formation of existentialism and Freudianism.
The most significant works of the writer include the novels of the “Great Pentateuch”. The novels Crime and Punishment, Idiot, Demons, and The Brothers Karamazov are included in the list of 100 best books of the Norwegian Book Club of 2002. Many famous works by Dostoevsky were repeatedly filmed and staged in the theater, ballet and opera productions were staged.
Dostoevsky’s life at Bozhedomka
Dostoevsky’s childhood passed on Novaya Bozhedomka Street, named after the previously “wretched house” that was liquidated in 1771 in connection with the outbreak of the plague. In the XVII – XVIII centuries, “poor home” or ” diviner ” called cemeteries for the poor, tramps and suicides, where the bodies could wait for burial from three to five months.
In 1803, the wastelands of Bozhedomka were bought from the Pereyaslav coachmen for the construction of the hospital complex of the Mariinsky Hospital, the initiator of the construction of which was Empress Maria Fedorovna. After the death of her husband Paul I, she devoted herself to charity and was able to find private investors to finance the construction and operation of the institution. A hospital for the poor opened in 1806, but the first street in this area appeared only in the 1850s and led to Butyrka through Maryina Grove .
In 1821, the father of the writer Mikhail Dostoevsky received the position of a doctor in the department of “female patients coming”. Together with work, he was allocated a state-owned apartment in the right wing of the hospital, where the family moved the same year. By that time, Dostoevsky’s parents were already expecting a family replenishment : Fedor Dostoevsky was born in October of that year. A year after the appearance of his son, the Dostoevsky family moved to the left wing, where the writer lived sixteen years before moving to St. Petersburg in 1837 .
Dostoevsky’s drawing room often hosted musical evenings with singing romances and folk songs, as well as family readings: his father liked to read aloud the works of Alexander Pushkin, Nikolay Karamzin, Walter Scott, Gabriel Derzhavin and Anna Radcliffe.
“We got up early in the morning, at six o’clock. At eight o’clock my father was already leaving for the hospital, or in the ward, as we said. At this time, there was room cleaning, furnace heating in the winters, and so on. At nine o’clock in the morning, his father, returning from the hospital, was immediately driving around his rather numerous city patients, or, as we said, “to practice.” In his absence, we children attended classes. At a later time, two older brothers were in the guesthouse. The father of the clock was returning at about twelve, and in the first hour of the day we were constantly having lunch. <...> Now, after lunch, daddy went into the living room, the doors of the hall closed, And he lay on the sofa, in his bathrobe, falling asleep after dinner. This rest of him lasted about an hour and a half or two, and at that time in the hall where the whole family was sitting, there was silence calm, they spoke little and then in a whisper so as not to wake daddy; and this, on the one hand, was the most boring time of the day, but on the other hand, it was pleasant, as the whole family, except daddy, was in the same room, in the hall. <...> But finally, daddy got up, and I left my solitude!.. At four o’clock in the afternoon we drank evening tea, after which my father again went to the ward to the sick. Evenings were spent in the living room, lit by two greasy candles. <...> We didn’t have lamps, father didn’t like them,Kerosene and other burning oils were not even mentioned at that time. If dad was not busy with mournful sheets, then in the evenings they read aloud; I will recall these readings in more detail below.
From the memoirs of the younger brother Andrei Dostoevsky”
The construction of the hospital complex was led by architects Giacomo Quarenghi, Domenico Gilardi and Andrei Mikhailov. The main building was built in the style of late classicism with the stucco coat of arms of the Russian Empire located on the facade and the copper inscription “Mariinsky Hospital”. On both sides were two-story outbuildings for patients, utility rooms and government apartments . In the middle of the XIX century, designed by architect Mikhail Bykovskythe building was slightly expanded, and third floors were built in the wings. In 1979, the hospital underwent cosmetic restoration with the restoration of the historical interiors of the early 19th century . Subsequently, the object did not undergo a major restoration.
In 1936, a monument to the sculptor Sergei Merkurov, previously located on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, was erected in the courtyard of the hospital. The architect began work on the monument back in 1911 and before sculpting the figure in Swedish granite, he created about 20 busts of the writer, for which the artist and composer Alexander Vertinsky posed .
In 1857, the Church of the Assumption of the Righteous Anna was erected in the courtyard of the Mariinsky Hospital, destroyed by the Soviet authorities in the 1930s.
The opening of the museum-apartment of Dostoevsky took place on November 11, 1928 and was timed to coincide with the 107th anniversary of the writer. The basis of the exposition was a collection of the second wife of Dostoevsky Anna Grigoryevna, who later recalled:
“Indeed, my husband and I were people of a “completely different design, a different warehouse, other views,” but “always remained ourselves,” not at all echoing and not faking each other, and were not entangled by our soul – I – in his psychology, he – into mine, and thus my good husband and I – we both felt free soul. ”
In the 1940s, the institution was reorganized and became part of the State Literary Museum.
Among the most significant works of the writer are literary critics, unique in Russian and world literature, the journal of the philosophical and literary journalism “The Diary of a Writer ” and the so-called “ Great Five Books ”, which include the latest novels:
Crime and Punishment (1866),
The Idiot (1868),
The Teenager (1875),
The Brothers Karamazov (1879-1880).
“Crime and Punishment” and “Player”
In February 1865, six months after the death of his brother, the publication of the Epoch ceased. Taking responsibility for the Epochs debt obligations and experiencing financial difficulties, Dostoevsky was forced to agree to the enslaving terms of the contract for publishing the collected works with the publisher F. T. Stellovsky and began working on the novel Crime and Punishment. From 1865 to 1870, Stellovsky published Dostoevsky’s complete works of those times in 4 volumes. The creation of Crime and Punishment began in August 1865 abroad. A draft of the writer’s letter survived on September 10 (22) —15 (27), 1865 to M. N. Katkov outlining the plot of an almost completed story and the proposal for its publication in the journal ” Russian Herald “, the advance for which Katkov sent Dostoevsky to Wiesbaden. In this letter to Katkov, Dostoevsky described the content and the main idea of the story. The “psychological report of one crime” of a young man who was expelled from the university as a student living in extreme poverty, who “by frivolity and shakiness in concepts succumbed to some strange“ unfinished “ideas”. “He decided to kill one old woman, a titular counselor who gives interest money” to make his mother and sister happy. After that he could graduate from university, go abroad and “be whole life honest, firm, steady in the fulfillment of the“ humane duty to humanity ”.”
“This is where the whole psychological process of the crime unfolds. Insoluble questions arise before the killer, unsuspected and unexpected feelings torment his heart. God’s truth, the earthly law takes its toll, and it ends up being forced to convey to oneself. Forced, though to die in hard labor, but to join people again; a sense of openness and disconnection with humanity, which he felt immediately after committing a crime, tortured him. The law of truth and human nature have taken their toll, killed beliefs, even without resistance. The offender himself decides to accept torment in order to atone for his work. ”
The plot outlined in the letter to Katkov became a synthesis of the writer’s early unfulfilled intentions. The existence of the basic philosophical idea of the future “Crime and Punishment” is evidenced by an entry in the diary of A. P. Suslova of September 17, 1863: “<...> some Napoleon says:“ To exterminate the whole city ””. In a letter to Semipalatinsk friend Baron A.E. Wrangel dated September 28, 1865, Dostoevsky wrote: “Meanwhile, the story I am writing now will perhaps be the best thing that I wrote if they give me time to finish it”. In early November, after returning to St. Petersburg, Dostoevsky continued work on a story that soon grew into a novel. In a letter from Petersburg to A.E. Wrangel on February 18, 1866, Dostoevsky wrote: “At the end of November, a lot was written and ready; I burned everything; Now you can admit it. I didn’t like it myself. A new form, a new plan fascinated me, and I started all over again ”. The story was narrated in the first person. A social background was added to the novel – Marmeladov’s line from the idea of the story “Pianenki”, the hero received the name Raskolnikov, the story was narrated on behalf of the author to give credibility to the description of psychology and to reveal the intense inner life of the main character. A new, substantially revised and expanded version of the novel Crime and Punishment, published in the journal Russky Vestnik for 1866, was created from December 1865 to December 1866.
The first chapters were sent to M. N. Katkov directly in the collection of the conservative magazine “Russian Herald”, where they were published in January and February 1866, the next ones were printed from number to number. By the end of the year, Dostoevsky could finish the novel. However, under the harsh conditions of the “draconian contract”, under the threat of losing copyright and royalties on his publications for 9 years in favor of the publisher F. T. Stellovsky, the writer was supposed to submit a new unpublished novel by November 1, 1866. Dostoevsky was in a time pressure situation when it was physically impossible to write a new novel in such a short time. Quite by chance, a friend of the writer A. P. Milyukov came to the rescue, who, to speed up the process of creating the novel “The Player” found the best stenographer Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina.
The novel was created in 26 days. From October 4 to 29, Anna Grigoryevna wrote the text dictated at the writer’s apartment in the house of I. M. Alonkin in St. Petersburg on the corner of Malaya Meshchanskaya and Stolyarny Lane, and not in Baden-Baden, as the inscription “testifies” under the bas-relief of Dostoevsky “The novel“ The Player ”was written here.” Perhaps it was not by chance that the writer chose this place where the events described in the story by M. Yu. Lermontov “ Shtoss ” took place and Rodion Raskolnikov “lived”. Soon after the transfer of the manuscript of the novel “The Player” to the publisher, November 8, 1866, Dostoevsky made Anna Grigorievna an offer of marriage. On February 15, 1867, the sacrament of the wedding of Dostoevsky and A. G. Snitkina took place in Trinity Cathedral. The novel Crime and Punishment was paid very well by M. N. Katkov, but so that the creditors would not take this money, the writer went abroad with his new wife. The trip is reflected in the diary, which in 1867 began the wife of the writer Anna Grigoryevna. On the way to Germany, the couple stopped for a few days in Vilna.
The novel “ Idiot ” was written abroad, the work on which Dostoevsky began in September 1867 in Geneva, continued there until the end of May 1868, then he wrote it in Vevey and Milan, and finished in Florence on January 17 (29) 1869. Dostoevsky outlined the main idea of the novel in a letter from Geneva to A. N. Maykov of December 31, 1867 (January 12, 1868): “For a long time I was tormented by one thought, but I was afraid to make a novel out of it, because the thought is too difficult and I it is not prepared, although the idea is quite seductive and I love her. This idea is to portray a completely beautiful person. In my opinion, nothing can be more difficult than this, especially in our time ”. “Idiot” is one of the most complex works of Dostoevsky. The tragedy of the novel lies in the fact that “Prince Christ” (Myshkin, the writer’s favorite hero), by interfering in the fate of other characters, does not succeed in making anyone happy, nor does he manage to defeat hostile forces, which he himself becomes a victim of.
At the end of the novel “The Idiot, ” Dostoevsky conceived the epic “ Atheism ” (1869–1870), subsequently changing its name to “The Life of the Great Sinner”. This plan was not implemented, but parts of the plan were realized in 1870–1872 during the preparatory work of the novel “Demons,” in 1874–1875 when writing the novel “The Teenager,” and in 1878–1880 when creating the novel “The Brothers Karamazov”. In August 1869, the writer began writing the novel “The Eternal Husband ” , the text of which was sent three months later for publication in the journal “ 3arya ”. In the autumn of that year, Dostoevsky simultaneously worked on other unfulfilled plans, which later became part of the novel “Demons,” in particular the character of one of them, Kartuzov, embodied in the image of Lebyadkin. The writer’s litter of this period draws attention: “Everything is brief, in the Pushkin style, from the very beginning without psychological subtleties, with short phrases. Learning to write ”.
The novel “demons” (1871-1872) reflected fierce debate Dostoevsky revolutionary Russia: both Nechayev (“children” – nihilists generation “demons”) and a liberal (“fathers”) , to some extent responsible for the outbreak of terror. According to Dostoevsky from letters to N.N. Strakhov on October 9 (21) and December 2 (14), 1870, the concept of an anti-nihilist novel began at the end of 1869. The writer began working directly on “Demons” in January 1870 in Dresden, as evidenced by the preparatory materials for the novel. In March 1870, Dostoevsky wrote to N. N. Strakhov that he would soon finish the tendentious pamphlet novel. “Nihilists and Westerners demand a final whip”. A day later, the writer informed A. N. Maikov: “What I am writing is a tendentious thing, I want to express myself hotter. (Nihilists and Westerners will scream about me, what a retrograde!) Yes, to hell with them, and I will express myself to the last word ”. Work on the novel was significantly suspended in the summer, when Stavrogin’s powerful image, which became the key character of Demons, began to occupy the forefront. Then the idea of the work was radically revised, and the political pamphlet combined with the novel-tragedy. The process of creating “Demons” cost Dostoevsky more work than any other of his works.
Fleeing from creditors, Dostoevsky was forced to spend four years abroad. On July 8, 1871, after four years in Europe, Dostoevsky and his family returned to Petersburg. The return to Russia marked the most materially favorable period of the writer’s life and the brightest period of family happiness. The second wife Anna Grigoryevna arranged the life of the writer, taking charge of the family’s finances, and since 1871, Dostoevsky abandoned roulette forever. These years of life were very fruitful. Since 1872, the writer’s family spent the summer in the city of Staraya Russa, Novgorod Province. To improve his health, Dostoevsky often went to Germany to a resort in Ems.
In Russia, the writer continued to write the novel “Demons,” which was completed in St. Petersburg in the second half of November 1872. There were more negative reviews about the novel than positive reviews. Defending himself from critics who misinterpreted the idea of the novel “Demons,” Dostoevsky placed the article “One of the Modern Falsities” (1873) in the Writer’s Diary, where he wrote that not all “idiotic fanatics”, shalopai, “monsters” and “among monsters” fraudsters “:” I do not believe, not all; I myself am an old “Necaevan”. ”
“Diary of a Writer”
Dostoevsky had a penchant for journalism from the first period of his work, when in 1847 his feuilleton “Petersburg Chronicle” was published. After a long forced break of hard labor and exile, the writer’s craving for coverage of topical issues was embodied in the publication of the magazines Vremya and Epoch. In the first January issue of the weekly Citizen magazine for 1873, published by V. P. Meshchersky, a section appeared on the Writer’s Diary, in which Dostoevsky explained his desire to reflect his own attitude to current events with the words “I Will and I speak to yourself… in the form of this diary. <...> What to talk about? About everything that will amaze me or make me think ” when chaos, lack of beliefs and “points of emphasis”, cynicism prevailed in post-reform Russia. N.K. Mikhailovsky called the new column a commentary on the novel “Demons,” the publication of which and the work of Dostoevsky as editor and publisher of Citizen gave rise to critics accusing the writer of reactionaryism and retrograde. Fulfillment of editorial duties took a lot of time and effort, so the writer decided to leave the post and go on to create the novel “Teenager”. The last issue of Citizen signed by Dostoevsky as an editor was released on April 15, 1874.
The innovative in form and content of one author’s publication consisted of a series of feuilleton notes, essays, polemic notes on the topic of the day, literary criticism, and memoirs. For the first time, in the Writer’s Diary, answers to letters from readers from all over Russia were published, small works of art were published: “ Bobok ” (1873), “ The Boy at the Christmas Tree ” (1876), “The Man Marey ” (1876), “ Centennial ” (1876), “ Meek ” (1876), “The Dream of a Funny Man ” (1877). In 1880, an essay on Pushkin was published. On the pages of the mono-magazine in the form of dialogue, a polemic was held between opponents of equal strength, who represented various areas of Russian social and literary thought: conservative (“ Russian World ”, “Russian Herald”), liberal (“ Herald of Europe ”) and revolutionary-democratic (“Patriotic notes “). The author stated different points of view on modern events and his own attitude to them. The search for answers to acute questions of the political, social and spiritual life of Russia was subsequently continued in independent editions of the Writer’s Diary for 1876, 1877, 1880 and 1881, in the novels The Teenager and The Brothers Karamazov, in a speech about Pushkin in 1880. The “Diary of a Writer” was very popular, due to which the influence of its author on public opinion increased.
At the request of N. A. Nekrasov, Dostoevsky submitted his fourth novel, The Great Pentateuch, for publication to the journal Domestic Notes, where he was published throughout 1875. The idea of the novel was drawn up during the period of the writer’s editorial work in the Citizen magazine and was associated both with publicistic speeches published there, with previous unfulfilled plans, and with some early works (“Double”, “Little Hero”, “Notes” from underground ”) and mature novels (“ Idiot ”,“ Demons ”). Along with many protagonists of the novels of the Great Pentateuch, the protagonist of the Teenager is the bearer of the idea. On this basis, “Crime and Punishment”, “Idiot”, “Demons”, “Teenager” and “Brothers Karamazov” are called by literary critics as ideological novels (the term was first used by B. M. Engelhardt ). The hero of the novel, a teenager of 19 years old, Arkady Makarovich Dolgoruky, is trying to realize the “ Rothschild idea ” – “the goal is not material wealth, but power”. At the same time, Dostoevsky considered the main thing in the work not a test of Arkady Dolgoruky’s “idea” for strength, but a search for the ideal by him. Along with the theme “fathers and children”, reflected in “Demons”, the theme of the upbringing of the Teenager comes to the fore, therefore literary scholars rank this work as a novel of upbringing. At the end of “Notes” (a kind of confessed confession), the hero writes about an unrecognizable change in the “Rothschild idea”: “But this new life, this new one, which opened before me is my“ idea ”, the same as before, but already in a completely different form, so it’s impossible to recognize it already ”.
“The Brothers Karamazov” and the talk about Pushkin
In March 1878, the Committee of the Society of Writers of France invited Dostoevsky to take part in the International Literary Congress in Paris, chaired by V. Hugo. In the list of members of the International Literary Association, Dostoevsky led representatives from Russia. Due to illness and death of his son Alexei on May 16, Dostoevsky could not attend the congress held on May 30 (June 11), 1878.
In the winter of 1878, the teacher of the Grand Dukes Sergey and Pavel Alexandrovich D.S. Arsenyev at the request of Emperor Alexander II met Dostoevsky and in the spring invited the writer to dinner with the Grand Dukes. Dostoevsky was not personally acquainted with Alexander II, but three times attended dinners with his sons Sergey and Pavel Alexandrovich. On March 21 and April 24, 1878, K. N. Bestuzhev-Ryumin attended the dinners of the Grand Dukes with Dostoevsky. The third dinner with Dostoevsky took place on March 5, 1879, about which the Grand Duke K. K. Romanov left a note in the diary. On December 16, 1880, Dostoevsky was received by the heir and future Emperor Alexander III in the Anichkov Palace. In the same years, the writer became close to conservative journalists, publicists and thinkers, and corresponded with prominent statesman KP Pobedonostsev, whom he had known since 1872. In the spring of 1878, Dostoevsky became interested in the personality of one of the founders of Russian cosmism, N. F. Fedorov, whose ideas he considered “as if for his own”, and attended some of Vl. S. Solovyov “On God-Manhood”. The writer’s reflections on philosophical ideas close to him by N.F. Fedorov and the problem of the correlation of the natural and moral principles of the human personality, raised in the readings of Vl. Solovyov will be reflected in the “Brothers Karamazov”.
The result of Dostoevsky’s creative and life journey was the last novel of the “Great Pentateuch” “The Brothers Karamazov”, the plan of which arose in the spring of 1878, but was associated with unfulfilled plans for large-scale works “Atheism” (1868-1869) and “The Life of the Great Sinner” (1869-1870). Some images, episodes, and ideological motives of Dostoevsky’s latest novel take their roots in almost all previous works, starting with “Poor People” and ending with “The Diary of a Writer” and “The Teenager”. The first draft notes to the novel “About Children” (The Brothers Karamazov) appeared after April 12, 1878 and were entitled “Memento” (about the novel). The writer planned to include in the plot events from the unfulfilled plan of 1874, “Drama. In Tobolsk ”. A few days in June 1878, Dostoevsky with Vl. Solovyov spent in Optina desert. Meetings with the monks influenced the creation of the image of the old man Zosima. After spending the summer of 1878 in Staraya Russa, Dostoevsky and his family returned to Petersburg and on October 5 settled in the apartment of the house 5/2 in Kuznechny Lane, where he lived until January 28, 1881. Here, in 1880, the writer finished his last novel, The Brothers Karamazov, published in the journal Russian Bulletin from February 1879 (January issue). Currently, the apartment houses the Literary and Memorial Museum of F. M. Dostoevsky.
June 8, 1880, a little more than six months before his death, Dostoevsky made the famous speech in the Noble Assembly, dedicated to the opening of the monument to Pushkin in Moscow.
The lifetime glory of the writer reached its zenith after the release of the novel The Brothers Karamazov. Pushkin’s speech marked the peak of Dostoevsky’s popularity. D. S. Mirsky wrote: “This speech aroused delight, a similar to which was not in the history of Russian literature”.
The memoirs of the younger brother of the writer Andrei Dostoevsky, in which he described in detail the furnishings of the apartment, played a large role in the reconstruction of the interiors of the museum. At the entrance to the museum there are canopies with a vaulted ceiling with access to the pantry and kitchen. There is also a staircase leading to the second floor, where other official apartments were located.
A wooden partition separates the entrance hall from the former room of Fedor and Mikhail Dostoevsky. At the beginning of the 19th century, the room was heated by a white tiled stove, while the brothers themselves slept on forged chests. The only window of the room looked into the closet, where there was a nanny room .
“At the entrance from the cold canopy, as usual, the front was placed in one window (onto a clean yard). In the back of this rather deep front, a darkened room for the nursery was separated with the help of a wooden joinery partition, not reaching the ceiling. This was followed by a hall – a rather roomy room with two windows onto the street and three onto a clean courtyard. Then the living room had two windows onto the street, from which a half-light room for the parents’ bedroom was also separated by a joinery plank. That’s the whole apartment!
The next room – “Work Room” – due to lack of space at the same time functioned as a dining room and study for parents. Here the family gathered in the evenings: the children taught lessons, and the parents went about their business. As during the life of Dostoevsky, there are 18 chairs upholstered in green morocco, two ombre tables and a large dining room . A lithography from the painting “The Courier of Three” by the artist Alexander Orlovsky and the original correspondence between the writer’s parents dated August 23, 1833 with the attributed words of Dostoevsky: “My dear mother! We have already arrived at daddy, my dear mother, in good health. Dad and Nikolenka are also in good health. May God grant you to be healthy. Come to us, my dear mother, I’ll think about removing the rest of the bread for a short while, and I think you are already removing a little bit of buckwheat. Goodbye, dear mother, I respectfully kiss your hands and abide with your humble son Fedor Dostoevsky ”.
The living room has original furniture from the beginning of the 19th century – a dressing table, a wardrobe and armchairs, and family photographs hang on the walls along with miniatures of Dostoevsky’s great-grandmother and great-grandfather. The central objects of the collection are the last photograph of the writer, made in 1880 after Dostoevsky visited the opening of the monument to Pushkin, and bronze candelabra from the personal collection of Andrei Dostoevsky .
In the last hall of the museum there is an exhibition space dedicated to the writer’s memorial things: a desk from Dostoevsky’s St. Petersburg apartment with an ink set, glasses, a hat and business cards lying on the countertop, photographs of children and his wife. In all rooms of the exposition there are shelves with books from the Dostoevsky family library: the collected collection includes the works of literary classics, lifetime editions of the writer, as well as a large number of popular prints of Russian fairy tales that the nanny Dostoevsky read to him before going to bed. The tour ends in the hospital corridor where the writer’s pen is exhibited, symbolizing the beginning and end of the creative path.