Tinand cont ca eu inca ma bucur de concediu si conexiunea mea la internet este execrabila, l-am rugat pe Tudor Tamas sa-si faca din nou aparitia ca special guest…zis si facut, acesta a facut un review la opera lui Dostoievski, Jucatorul sau Gambler deoarece textul este in limba engleza. Multumesc Tudor pentru timp si ajutor! dupa concediu o sa fac o paralela la aceasta carte, deoarece si eu o citesc in momentul de fata…

The Gambler is a rather short novel of Fyodor Dostoyevsky written in just two weeks because of a tight deadline imposed by the publisher Stellovsky. The Russian writer was finding himself again in a tough financial position and the money received for the novel was used to pay off the debts accumulated from his gambling habit.

A clear link then, but inserting autobiographical or semi-autobiographical details in his works was commonplace for Dostoyevsky, as was exploring human psychology and the limits of knowledge.

The Gambler makes no exception from this usual style, but the limited time and space Dostoyevsky had for the novel worked as an anchor for his desire to further discuss these themes.

And unlike in his other popular works like Crime and Punishment, Memoirs from the House of The Dead or the later-to-be-published The Brothers Karamazov, humour and satire occupy a place in the forefront, the action developing at a rapid pace – or at least as fast as possible for a Dostoyevsky novel.   

The main character, Alexei Ivanovich, is the one depicting the events from his point of view, as he works as a tutor for a Russian family based in Germany. He makes no effort from concealing his hopeless love for Polina, the step-daughter of his employer and head of the family, The General. In his turn, The General is in love with Mademoiselle De Cominges, but the young French wouldn’t marry the Russian because of his financial troubles, as he is indebted to another Frenchman, Des Grieux.

And unless the Russian inherits the fortune of his ill and soon-to-die aunt, Grandmother, he has no chances of paying off his debts and marry De Cominges. Everyone’s astonishment rockets through the sky when, instead of dying, Grandmother appears at the hotel they are staying in Germany and starts gambling away her fortune.

Subsequently, the game of roulette and the addiction of the players are masterfully described on repeated occasions, as Alexei Ivanovich, despite being fired and with basically no money left, gets his turn at the roulette table.

The simple but brilliant scenario created by Dostoyevsky, alongside the emotion-stricken characters of the epoch’s upper class with their vices and fickle frames of mind, appears to have suffered little from the short and quick writing process. On the contrary, it made everything more effective and easy to comprehend.


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