Walking the streets of St. Petersburg with Fyodor Dostoevsky

"This is a city of half-crazy people... there are few places where you'll find so many gloomy, harsh and strange influences on the soul of a man as in St Petersburg." ( 'Crime and Punishment').

"This is a city of half-crazy people... there are few places where you'll find so many gloomy, harsh and strange influences on the soul of a man as in St Petersburg." ( 'Crime and Punishment').

Andrei Orekhov
We gathered 9 quotes from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novels and stories on St. Petersburg and combined them with photos of the city in summer. While St. Petersburg from Dostoevsky novels looks gloomy and dirty, in reality it is a wonderful place. Check out local streets, courtyards, buildings and entryways that still retain the atmosphere that inspired generations of Russian writers.
“... St. Petersburg, the most abstract and intentional city on the entire globe.” ('Notes from the Underground').
"The bright yellow, wooden, little houses looked dirty and dejected with their closed shutters. The cold and damp penetrated his whole body and he began to shiver. From time to time he came across shop signs and read each carefully. At last he reached the end of the wooden pavement and came to a big stone house." ('Crime and Punishment').
“The heat in the street was terrible: and the airlessness, the bustle and the plaster, scaffolding, bricks, and dust all about him, and that special Petersburg stench, so familiar to all who are unable to get out of town in summer—all worked painfully upon the young man's already overwrought nerves.» ('Crime and Punishment').
"At that point there is a great block of buildings, entirely let out in dram shops and eating-houses; women were continually running in and out, bare-headed and in their indoor clothes. Here and there they gathered in groups, on the pavement, especially about the entrances to various festive establishments in the lower storeys. From one of these a loud din, sounds of singing, the tinkling of a guitar and shouts of merriment, floated into the street." ('Crime and Punishment').
"… he was interested by the question why in all great towns men are not simply driven by necessity, but in some peculiar way inclined to live in those parts of the town where there are no gardens nor fountains; where there is most dirt and smell and all sorts of nastiness." ('Crime and Punishment').
“It was a marvelous night, the sort of night one only experiences when one is young. The sky was so bright, and there were so many stars that, gazing upward, one couldn't help wondering how so many whimsical, wicked people could live under such a sky.” ('White Nights and Other Stories').
“Do you understand, sir, do you understand what it means when you have absolutely nowhere to turn?" Marmeladov’s question came suddenly into his mind "for every man must have somewhere to turn...” ('Crime and Punishment').
"I am told that the Petersburg climate is bad for me, and that with my small means it is very expensive to live in Petersburg. I know all that better than all these sage and experienced counsellors and monitors.... But I am remaining in Petersburg; I am not going away from Petersburg! I am not going away because ... ech! Why, it is absolutely no matter whether I am going away or not going away". ('Notes from the Underground').
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