Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881) was a Russian writer of realist fiction and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.
Dostoyevsky's literary works explored human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society. Considered by many as a founder or precursor of 20th-century existentialism, Dostoyevsky wrote, with the embittered voice of the anonymous "underground man", Notes from Underground (1864), which was called the "best overture for existentialism ever written" by Walter Kaufmann. Dostoyevsky is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.
Dostoyevsky's paternal ancestors were from a town called Dostoyev in Belarus, in the Guberniya (province) of Minsk, not far from Pinsk. Dostoyevsky's mother was Russian. The stress on the family name was originally on the second syllable, matching that of the town (Dostóev). However, in the nineteenth century, the stress was shifted to the third syllable. According to one account, Dostoyevsky's paternal ancestors were Polonized nobles...