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The House of the Dead (Dover Thrift…
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The House of the Dead (Dover Thrift Editions) (original 1860; edition 2004)

by Fyodor Dostoevsky (Author)

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2,573324,442 (3.95)1 / 101
From the acclaimed translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky comes a new translation of the first great prison memoir: Fyodor Dostoevsky's fictionalized account of his life-changing penal servitude in Siberia. In 1849 Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years at hard labor in a Siberian prison camp for his participation in a utopian socialist discussion group. The account he wrote after his release, based on notes he smuggled out, was the first book to reveal life inside the Russian penal system. The book not only brought him fame but also founded the tradition of Russian prison writing. Notes from a Dead House (sometimes translated as The House of the Dead) is filled with vivid details of brutal punishments, shocking conditions, feuds and betrayals, and the psychological effects of the loss of freedom, but it also describes moments of comedy and acts of kindness. There are grotesque bathhouse and hospital scenes that seem to have come straight from Dante's Inferno, alongside daring escape attempts, doomed acts of defiance, and a theatrical Christmas celebration that draws the entire community together in a temporary suspension of their grim reality. To get past government censors, Dostoevsky made his narrator a common-law criminal rather than a political prisoner, but the perspective is unmistakably his own. His incarceration was a transformative experience that nourished all his later works, particularly Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky's narrator discovers that even among the most debased criminals there are strong and beautiful souls. His story reveals the prison as a tragedy both for the inmates and for Russia; it is, finally, a profound meditation on freedom: "The prisoner himself knows that he is a prisoner; but no brands, no fetters will make him forget that he is a human being." … (more)
Member:Plant2flower
Title:The House of the Dead (Dover Thrift Editions)
Authors:Fyodor Dostoevsky (Author)
Info:Dover Publications (2004), 256 pages
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The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1860)

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» See also 101 mentions

English (25)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Romance semi autobiográfico publicado em 1862 na revista Vremya, que retrata a vida de condenados em um campo prisional da Sibéria. Essencialmente, um livro de memórias disfarçado; uma coleção pouco unida de fatos, eventos e discussão filosófica organizada por tema e não como uma história contínua. O próprio Dostoiévski passou quatro anos no exílio em tal prisão após sua condenação por envolvimento no Círculo Petrashevsky. Essa experiência permitiu-lhe descrever com grande autenticidade as condições da vida na prisão e os personagens dos condenados.

Após sua simulação de execução em 22 de dezembro de 1849, a vida de Dostoiévski foi poupada em troca de quatro anos de prisão em um campo de trabalho de Katorga em Omsk, no oeste da Sibéria. Embora ele frequentemente recebesse hostilidade dos outros prisioneiros devido ao seu nobre status de dvoryanin, seus pontos de vista sobre a vida mudaram. Depois de seu tempo nos campos, Dostoiévski voltou a escrever A Casa dos Mortos. O romance incorpora várias das experiências horríveis que ele testemunhou enquanto estava na prisão. Ele recorda a brutalidade e o prazer dos guardas de realizar atos indescritivelmente cruéis, os crimes cometidos pelos criminosos condenados e o fato de que, em meio a esses grandes brutos, eles se misturavam com pessoas boas e decentes. No entanto, ele também está surpreso com a capacidade dos condenados de cometer assassinatos sem a menor mudança de consciência. Era um contraste gritante com sua própria sensibilidade aumentada. Esta experiência levou Dostoiévski a incluir o tema do assassinato em suas obras posteriores, um tema não encontrado em nenhuma de suas obras até então.

O narrador, Aleksandr Petrovich Goryanchikov, foi condenado à deportação para a Sibéria e a dez anos de trabalho duro por assassinar sua esposa. A vida na prisão é particularmente difícil para Aleksandr, já que ele é um "cavalheiro" e sofre a malícia dos outros prisioneiros, quase todos pertencentes ao campesinato. Gradualmente, ele supera sua repulsa por sua situação e por seus colegas condenados, passando por um despertar espiritual que culmina com sua libertação do campo. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Sep 17, 2021 |
There is a sentence from Memoirs From The House Of The Dead, which summarizes this entire book neatly: "Here I am, however, trying to classify the whole prison into types: but is this possible?"

Even though this book has been described as the "least Dostoevskian of his works", the mind-numbing precision of Dostoevsky's human psyche analysis still pervades this book strongly, through Alexander Petrovich's observations of the prisoners going about their daily lives in penal servitude. Not all is gloomy and dry though - Dostoevsky's a great narrator as well and he easily breathes personalities and humanity into his characters, some of who also possess a roguish, riotous wit. I'd recommend this to anyone starting out with his books. ( )
  georgeybataille | Jun 1, 2021 |
1 ( )
  Coach_of_Alva | Jan 2, 2021 |
Fascinating semi-autobiographical novel of Dostoyevsky and his years as a political prisoner in Siberia. He writes as "Alexander Petrovich" and these are "Alexander"'s thoughts and impressions of prison life under Nicholas I. Each chapter is a separate vignette, complete in itself. The convicts are given sharp psychological portraits. We see their interaction with each other and the prison authorities. We get a taste of the daily routine, Christmas and Easter celebrations, such as they are, the prison animals, an escape, protesting with a complaint, and finally, after years as a convict, freedom at last for the narrator.
Highly recommended. ( )
  janerawoof | Feb 15, 2020 |
So I finally got through, more or less, after dropping it once around halfway through. Woof. Given how much I loved Karamazov, C&P, and Notes from Underground, I didn't expect to feel how I felt about this one. I knew it was a prison memoir of sorts, but what I didn't account for was that it takes the form of a series of rambling impressions with the system with little or no plot between episodes. But given that the individual stories are not isolated enough, the book doesn't have even the strength of a good book of short stories. It really does show that this was one of Dostoevsky's first works, that's for sure. It's really a two star book, but i'll add an extra star for some choice quotes, which i'll type up here:
"Tyranny is a habit; it is endowed with development, and develops finally into an illness. I stand upon this, that the best of men can, from habit, become coarse and stupified to the point of brutality. Blood and power intoxicate: coarseness and depravity develop; the most abnormal phenomena become accessible and finally, sweet to the mind and feelings... Power is seductive. A society that looks indifferently upon such a phenomenon is itself infected at its foundation." and,
"To acknowledge one's guilt and ancestral sin is little, very little; it is necessary to break with them completely. And that cannot be done so quickly." (p. 197)
Although he meant the above in the context of executioners and corporal punishment, the second quote speaks to me especially regarding the perception and acknowledgement of white privilege as well as decolonization. Interesting that a book from 1862 about the Siberian forced labour system can speak to me so powerfully about that.

There's also a delightfully delightful sequence about his dogs. So there's that.

Old hiatus review:
Putting this on hiatus for a moment. The first ~150 pages are good - it's very interesting to learn about the russian/siberian prison system, but there is virtually no plot to keep me engaged. I'll come back to it later because Dostoevsky is a good writer but there are more interesting things right now. ( )
  jakebornheimer | Mar 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
Opptegnelser fra det døde hus er nært knyttet til Dostojevskijs erfaringer fra tukthusoppholdet i Sibir 1850-54. Den er en merkelig kombinasjon av rapport og fiksjon, med dokumentarisk detaljerte beskrivelser av de forferdelige forhold fangene lever under, og fremfor alt en rekke portretter av mennesker som har bragt seg selv - eller av omstendighetene er blitt bragt - på den gale siden av loven, inkludert hovedpersonen selv.
added by kirstenlund | editwww.solumforlag.no (Sep 23, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (97 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dostoevsky, Fyodorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coulson, JessieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edwards, H. SutherlandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lahtela, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDuff, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pekari, IdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pyykkö, LeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the remote regions of Siberia, amidst the steppes, mountains and impassable forests, one sometimes comes across little, plainly built wooden towns of one or often two thousand inhabitants, with two chiurches - one in the town itself, and the other in the cememtry outside - towns that are more like the good-sized villages of the Moscow district than they are like towms.

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From the acclaimed translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky comes a new translation of the first great prison memoir: Fyodor Dostoevsky's fictionalized account of his life-changing penal servitude in Siberia. In 1849 Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years at hard labor in a Siberian prison camp for his participation in a utopian socialist discussion group. The account he wrote after his release, based on notes he smuggled out, was the first book to reveal life inside the Russian penal system. The book not only brought him fame but also founded the tradition of Russian prison writing. Notes from a Dead House (sometimes translated as The House of the Dead) is filled with vivid details of brutal punishments, shocking conditions, feuds and betrayals, and the psychological effects of the loss of freedom, but it also describes moments of comedy and acts of kindness. There are grotesque bathhouse and hospital scenes that seem to have come straight from Dante's Inferno, alongside daring escape attempts, doomed acts of defiance, and a theatrical Christmas celebration that draws the entire community together in a temporary suspension of their grim reality. To get past government censors, Dostoevsky made his narrator a common-law criminal rather than a political prisoner, but the perspective is unmistakably his own. His incarceration was a transformative experience that nourished all his later works, particularly Crime and Punishment. Dostoevsky's narrator discovers that even among the most debased criminals there are strong and beautiful souls. His story reveals the prison as a tragedy both for the inmates and for Russia; it is, finally, a profound meditation on freedom: "The prisoner himself knows that he is a prisoner; but no brands, no fetters will make him forget that he is a human being." 

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