By André Gide

This was once the 1st book in English in its entirety of Gide's serious research of the Russian genius. Albert J. Guerard notes in his creation, "[This ebook] conveys . . . the buzz of intensely own and sympathetic analyzing and the surprise of recognition."

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449· Letter to Mile Guerassimov, Petersburg, March 7, DO S T O EV S K Y and i t was not until the closing years that he was really freed from his financial worries. In his young days Dostoevsky indulged in every dissipa­ tion. He was assiduous at the play, at concerts, at the ballet. Not a care in the world! He chooses to rent a flat simply because he has taken a fancy to the landlord's appearance. His servant robs him, and he finds entertainment in watch­ ing the pilfering continue. His mood changes abruptly, according as fortune smiles or frowns.

He imitates himself. If he knows his path and his limitations, it is only to keep stricdy to them. His great dread is no longer insincerity, but inconsistency. The true artist is never but half-conscious of himself when creating. He does not know exacdy who he is. He learns to know himself only through his creation, in it, and after it. Dostoevsky never set out to find himself; he gave himself without stint in his works. He lost himself in each of the DOSTOEVSKY characters of his books, and, for this reason, i t i s in them that he can be found again.

That it is there, I am willing to concede; also that the phrase was a happy invention . . Unfortunately it did not contain the whole being of the man: he was too great in every way to be compressed into such small bulk. For if he was of those for whom "only one thing is needful: to know God," at least this knowledge of God he tried to diffu se throughout his works in all its human and anxious complexity. Ibsen was not easy to pin down either; like any other writer whose work is interrogative rather than affirmative.

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