Cuentos by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Los Cuentos de Fiódor M. Dostoievski (Moscú, 1821-San Petersburgo, 1881) intentan abarcar todo el período de su actividad como escritor, desde sus comienzos literarios en 1845 hasta 1877, año en que comienza a escribir Los hermanos Karamazov. En estos cuentos, no por breves menos geniales que sus novelas, aparecen temas recurrentes en toda su obra: los estafadores estafados en los angeles «Novela en nueve cartas», el delirio de un avaro en «El señor Projarchin», o los angeles generosidad del pueblo ruso en «El ladrón honrado». También en estos relatos su vena satírica y humorística cobra más fuerza. «La mujer ajena y el marido debajo de l. a. cama», «Bobok» o «El cocodrilo» son buen ejemplo de ello. Las historias que se incluyen en este volumen ofrecen al lector una visión amplia de los angeles compleja personalidad artística de este gran escritor ruso, que siempre consideró su deber «rehabilitar al individuo destruido, aplastado por el injusto yugo de las circunstancias, del estancamiento secular y de los prejuicios sociales».

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March– June: publication of Les Misérables (novel), written – and –.  April: publication of William Shakespeare (literary criticism).  October: Charles Hugo marries Alice Lehaene.  October: publication of Songs of Street and Wood (Les Chansons des rues et des bois, verse), written  and .  March: publication of The Toilers of the Sea (Les Travailleurs de la mer, novel).  August: birth of Charles’s son Georges.  August: death of Adèle I.  April– May: publication of The Laughing Man (L’Homme qui rit, novel).

Thus we find the spirit of melancholy and meditation and the demon of analysis and controversy appearing together–– virtually arm in arm. Longinus marks one end of this transitional age, Augustine* marks the other. We mustn’t eye the period too scornfully; it was the seedbed of everything that has come to fruition since, and (allow me to use a banal but expressive image) its second-rate writers made it a dunghill to fertilize the future harvest. The Middle Ages were grown from the Byzantine empire.

And what’s more, Boileau. ’ These are, no doubt, significant arguments (their most notable merit being their originality). But I don’t have any obligation to answer them. I’m not erecting any system here–– God preserve us from systems! I’m simply stating a fact. I’m writing history, not criticism. Like it or not, this is the way things are. To return to the point, then, let’s try to show that this fertile union of the grotesque with the sublime has been the origin of the modern spirit–– so complex, so varied in form, so infinite in its creations (in striking contrast to the uniform simplicity of the ancient spirit); this must be our point of departure, if we are to describe the real and radical difference between the two systems.

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Cuentos by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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