Thursday, August 25, 2005

Quotable | Wealth

Open quotation markWealth is the number of things one can do without. -- Feodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist (1821 - 1881) This is such an interesting quote, made all the more interesting for its source. A literary figure at the age of 25, imprisoned for engaging in revolutionary activity against the Tsar at age 28, survivor of a mock execution by firing squad, forced into military service with the Siberian Regiment at age 33, and finally released at age 38 ... Feodor Dostoyevsky led quite the tumultuous life, even given the tumultuous times. His own life would have made a page turning Russian novel! An inveterate gambler, Dostoyevsky's own experiences probably formed the basis for his novella, The Gambler [Descriptions | Review]. In fact, I have read that Dostoyevsky made a bet that he could write The Gambler within a month, even while in the midst of writing Crime and Punishement. If that wasn't enough, I have also read that Crime and Punishment was finished in a blazing hurry because "he was in urgent need of an advance from his publisher. He had been left practically penniless after a gambling spree." Certainly, between imprisonment and gambling debt, this man knew what it was like to do without.

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