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Year of Dostoevsky

Plenty of authors suffer a precipitous decline after they die, of course: Somerset Maugham was once ubiquitous; now he isn't. Back in the 70s, 80s and even 90s you could rely on encountering Anthony Powell in the pages of your Sunday paper on an almost weekly basis.

Poor Folk and Other Stories (Classics) (English Edition)

Since he went to meet the worms, total reputational collapse has not yet occurred but increasingly few people care about him. Were it not for the enduring cult popularity of A Clockwork Orange, much the same could be said about another once-celebrated Anthony. Then I thought about all those winsome fauns and beardless youths, the teenage writing sensations cruelly hyped by publishers only to be dropped as soon as they emerge from the chrysalis of puberty.

There have been so many of these literary zygotes I have lost count. I see them on the Waterstone's table and shed a tiny tear for the stars that burn so briefly before blinking out. Lord knows I don't remember their names.

Well, Irina Denezhkina I do. Or what about that chap wot wrote The Drowning People? He's still about, but now he's no longer 18 or 20 or whatever, media folk are far less excited. Indeed, surveying the Somme-like charnel-fields of butchered reputations laid out before us, the closest thing I can find to Dostoevsky's experience is that of Gautam Malkani , author of Londonstani.

He didn't even get round to writing a second book before people started pissing on him. His website has not been updated since May Like most people I haven't read the book so I can't comment on whether Malkani's fate is fair whose is? It's not his fault they were idiots. But is that a decline in reputation, or simply the sound of a bubble popping?

Poor Folk and Other Stories (Classics) (English Edition)

Was there any reputation to begin with? However, another popular theory holds that he earned the nickname in a bar. Twain denied this version of events, though. Shortly after his stint on The Big Muddy, Twain headed west with his brother to avoid having to fight in the war. He took up work as a miner in Virginia City, Nevada, but the job wasn't for him. He described it as "hard and long and dismal. However, it was during his time here that he heard the bartender of the Angels Hotel in Angels Camp share an incredulous story about a frog-jumping contest.

Always have a good book lined up - Listen and read whenever you want

After writing about pages, he told a friend he liked it "only tolerably well, as far as I have got, and may possibly pigeonhole or burn" the manuscript. He put the project on the back burner for several years and finally finished it in following a burst of inspiration. However, after two years of work, it was still too convoluted to be marketable and required a vast knowledge of historical facts and dates. Memory Builder wasn't Twain's only invention; he also patented two other products.

One was inspired by his love of scrapbooking, while the other came about from his hatred of suspenders. For those with little brassiere experience, not a button, nor a snap, but a clasp is all that secures that elastic band, which holds up women's breasts. So not-so-dexterous ladies and gents, you can thank Mark Twain for that. Only one video of Twain exists, and it was shot by none other than his close friend, Thomas Edison. On a separate occasion that same year, Edison recorded Twain as he read stories into a phonograph, but those audio clips were destroyed in a fire.

When you think of Mark Twain, you probably picture him in an all-white suit with a cigar or pipe hanging from his lips. He did this for dramatic emphasis. Several times after that he wore white out of season for effect. Twain really, really liked cats—so much so that he had 19 of them at one time. Twain is one of the most misquoted authors in history. It appears roughly every 75 years, and Twain predicted he would die the next time it graced the sky.

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It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. Novelist and poet George Eliot—who was born in England on November 22, —is best remembered for writing classic books like Middlemarch and Silas Marner. Despite the time period she wrote in, the author whose real name was Mary Anne, or Marian, Evans was no stuffy Victorian. She had a famously scandalous love life and, among other linguistic accomplishments, is responsible for the term pop music. Here are 15 things you might not know about the beloved writer.

George Eliot was born on the grounds of Arbury Hall and Estate , a sprawling mansion in Warwickshire, England with hundreds of acres of surrounding gardens and farmland. Her father, Robert Evans, worked for the estate's owners, the Newdigate family, as a manager and agent. His job entailed collecting rents from tenant farmers and overseeing the property's coal mine. Eliot was just an infant when her family moved from Arbury Hall to a home in a nearby town.

But Arbury and the Warwickshire countryside left their mark on her. In Scenes of Clerical Life , Eliot's collection of three short stories, she wrote about the area and drew inspiration from real places and people. And some of her stories mirrored reality pretty closely. In the early s, Eliot wrote for The Westminster Review , a London-based periodical founded by philosophers Jeremy Bentham and James Mill, contributing essays and reviews using the name Marian Evans. She soon became the de facto editor of the progressive journal, though her role was anonymous. Years later, other writers reviewed Eliot's own pseudonymous works in the journal she once edited.

Throughout her life, Eliot put her language skills to work translating foreign works into English. Upon reading her translation, one English nobleman called it "the most pestilential book ever vomited out of the jaws of hell. Eliot was by no means a misogynist, but she did have some harsh words for fellow women writers.

In an anonymous essay titled "Silly Novels by Lady Novelists," Eliot lamented the frivolous characters and unrealistic plots that she argued were nearly ubiquitous features of novels written by women at the time. To ask other readers questions about The Poor Folk and the Gambler , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Poor Folk and the Gambler. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of The Poor Folk and the Gambler. Nov 03, Hayley Danch rated it really liked it. First, Poor Folk was painful in terms of circumstance. The two main protagonists are ignorant and dense. The story is told over a series of letter writing where both characters are in continual declines of utter financial ruin both by their ineptness to change their situation. For instance, the male protagonist feels shame over people discussing his relationship rather than literally needing to beg for money and then spends it away without a thought.


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This was an interesting read but my lesser favorite of the two. Second, The Gambler was a riveting story mostly about greed even among the most upper class of the society exemplified through gambling. Especially through the main character, Dostoyevsky portrays the complete loss of self and everything one identifies with through gambling.

The main protagonist eventually even forgets the woman he obsesses over through the need and desire to gamble. Dostoyevsky leaves a lot to the imagination as much is not said but inferred.