Poor Folk is Dostoevsky’s first novel, and he wrote this in 1846. While this is enough a reason to read this book, much more is waiting for you.
Poor Folk is an epistolary novel; the story is told via letters between characters. It describes the love of an old clerk to a little girl and the lives of the two. At the same time, in the novel, which is considered as the first Russian social novel, you will rediscover the “poor folk”, yourself, the society, love, loneliness, desperation and mercy. The book created such different and complicated feelings in me that I was calling my family more often. Most importantly, I find myself thinking about people I don’t know. Especially the elderly. This book not only made me think but also made me do things. And not many books can do that. A must-read.
Poor Folk is an epistolary novel — that is, a tale told as a series of letters between the characters. And oh, what characters so these are! Makar Dievushkin Alexievitch is a copywriter, barely squeaking by; Barbara Dobroselova Alexievna works as a seamstress, and so both face the sort of everyday humiliation society puts upon the poor. These are people respected by no one, not even by themselves.
These are folks too poor, in their circumstances, to marry; the love between them is a chaste and so proper thing, a love that brings some readers to tears. But it isn’t maudlin, either; Fyodor Dostoevsky has something profound to say about these people and this circumstance. And he says it very well. When the book was first published a leading Russian literary critic of the day — Belinsky — prophesied that Dostoevsky would become a literary giant. It isn’t hard to see how he came to that conclusion, and in hindsight, so he surely was correct.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: