Thursday, December 26, 2013

Four famous writers who spent time in jail

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog Alexandra Silverman tagged four famous writers who spent time in jail, including:
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov, Poor Folk)

In 1849 the young Dostoevsky had just published a couple novels and resigned his post as a military engineer to concentrate on writing full-time. He was hanging with friends, discovering socialism, maybe doing a bit of gambling—when he was arrested, along with fellow members of a progressive literary group. The government feared that Europe’s 1848 Revolutions would spread to mother Russia should these intellectuals be allowed to continue spreading their dangerous ideas. Seventeen years before Dostoevsky published Crime and Punishment, he was almost executed by firing squad for crimes far less grave than Raskolnikov’s. Thankfully, a last-minute letter from the Tsar commuted the death sentence, but Dostoevsky spent over four years in exile in Siberia. Like [Jack] London and [Oscar] Wilde, he wrote about his incarceration. His semiautobiographical novel The House of the Dead was published in 1861, seven years after his release from prison.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Brothers Karamazov made Paul Murray's top ten list of wicked priests in fiction, James Runcie's top ten list of books about brothers, and is one of the top ten works of literature according to Norman Mailer.

Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is among Becky Ferreira's seven best comeuppances in literature, Lorraine Kelly's six best books  and the top ten works of literature according to Norman Mailer, and one of Gerald Scarfe's six best books; it appears on Andrew Klavan's five best list of psychological crime novels. Elmore Leonard never read beyond page fifty of the tome.

--Marshal Zeringue