The Village of Stepanchikovo

Fyodor Dostoevsky


The Village of Stepanchikovo by Fyodor Dostoevsky..Dostoyevsky said he wrote the Village of Stepanchikovo (1859) for the sheer pleasure of prolonging the adventures of my new hero and enjoying a good laugh at him. This hero is not unlike myself... Dostoyevsky's narrator has been summoned to his uncle Colonel Rostanev's remote country estate in the hope that he will act as decoy and rescue Rostanev's former ward,

 Nastenka Yezhevikin, from the tyranny of Opiskin, a despot and charlatan who has the whole household under his thumb. Forty-eight hours of explosive comic drama unfold, culminating in a violent confrontation between Opiskin and the ineffectual Rostanev.

Dostoyevsky conveys a delight in life's absurdities to rival that of Gogol, yet at the same time in Opiskin, a comic monster of Russian literature, he creates an unflattering portrait of his mentor. Here we recognize the genesis of the characters and the revelatory dramatic scenes of and The Karamazov Brothers.

The cover shows a detail from Spring by Konstantin Fedorovich Yuon reproduced by courtesy of the David King Collection. 

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