Poor Folk
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Poor Folk

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  3,797 ratings  ·  207 reviews
Poor Folk is an epistolary novel -- that is, a tale told as a series of letters between the characters. And oh, what characters these are! Makar Dievushkin Alexievitch is a copy writer, barely squeaking by; Barbara Dobroselova Alexievna works as a seamstress, and both face the sort of everyday humiliation society puts upon the poor. These are people respected by no one, no...more
Paperback, 167 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Wildside Press (first published 1845)
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Crime and Punishment by Fyodor DostoyevskyAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Master and Margarita by Mikhail BulgakovWar and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Best Russian Literature
70th out of 345 books — 1,351 voters
Pride and Prejudice by Jane AustenJane Eyre by Charlotte BrontëWuthering Heights by Emily BrontëThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeAlice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Best Books of the 19th Century
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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B0nnie
The first works of Dostoyevsky were translations of French fiction. He was translating Eugénie Grandet, and, on an evening stroll, he has "the vision on the Neva".

Да! я могу это сделать!

In his mind he sees two sad and hopeless people that just break his heart. He sat down and wrote Poor Folk, his first novel. He did it in just nine months. And he never quite got out of Balzac's grip: obviously Puskin and Gogol too - but it was the inspiration from Balzac that got him to pick up a pen and write...more
Marcus
This is a ridiculous book. It is the letters exchanged between a poor old man and a poor young woman who live in the same housing complex but who rarely see each other for the sake of propriety. It's basically something like this:
"Oh Makar this week I lost my job and I'm running out of cash and I'm feeling so sick that I just might die! Whatever shall I do!"

"Oh Varvara, you poor child. Let me, as a father figure, send you some flowers and linens even though I have no money and will probably get
...more
NaÐa A. Muhammĕd
اكتر واحد اثر في نفسي جورشكوف ، كأنه انتظر استرداد كرامته ليموت ! ، الحياة الآخرى في روسيا ، الحياة التي هي بعيدة كل البعد عن البيوت الأنيقة وضحكات النفاق ، وحفلات الرقص ومآدب الطعام ، حياة آخرى أقسى حيث هؤلاء من لا يدخرون لغد ومن أين لهم المال للإدخار ؟ ، من أين لهم المال ليطعموا أنفسهم ويصلحوا أزرار قمصانهم ؟ .. النهاية الدرامية حيث تحسن حال ماكار ولكن القدر يبعده عن فارنكا .. هكذا هي لا تمنحك كل شىء .
Sasha
Jul 25, 2012 Sasha rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Katch 22
Never have I been confronted with such an intimate portrayal of a love so chaste and pure doomed by the harsh realities of poverty. While a handful of Dostoevsky's books like Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov and Notes from Underground did the job of delving into the inner depths of man's dehumanization and redemption, Poor Folk painted a more powerful testimony of Russia's sad history. I found myself sweltering in profound sorrow after reading the exchange of love letters between the...more
Yakup  Öner
Çoğunluğun sınıfı olan 'alt sınıfı', tüm gerçekliğiyle ve olağanca sergileyen önemli bir klasiktir.Bu sınıfın kaygılarını, sevinçlerini, haykırışlarını, afacanlıklarını ve hınzırlıklarını bir kar topu yapıp suratlarımıza fırlatır. Böylelikle biraz acıtır.Okur kitabı okudukça, karakterlere bakıp şunu diyebilir; ''bu ben değilim.'' fakat ''bu şahsiyetler bize hiçte uzak değillermiş.'' diyeceklerdir.
wally
time for some more dostoyevsky. read here that this was his 1st novel? written as letters? heh! yes. there's a bit of hilarity at the start, makar alexievitch writing to his barbara and they are communicating w/windows.

no, not windows 98, 92, or iTeeth 2012...heh heh! when the curtains are arranged in a certain way it means one thing or another. 1st person...

...and...he writes to barbara alexievna who lives within sight of his window. heh! imagine if he had an iMac?

update at the 44% mark, kindle...more
Heba TariQ
جميلة بكل ما تحتويه الكلمة
من المقتبسات
--------------
اه من اولئك الذين يكتبون الحكايات و الروايات ! ألا يستطيعون أن يكتبوا شيئاً مفيداً نجد فيه السرور و المتعة ؟ لا ! إنهم بالضرورة يجمعون فى حكاياتهم التى يكتبونها كل القذارة و لا شئ سوى القذارة إننى أريد
أن امنعهم جميعاً من الكتابة .


---------------
كأنهم يخشون أن تنقشع آلام الفقر عن حياة الفقراء , و كأنهم يخافون أن ينجلى بؤس الفقر عن حياة الفقراء . إنهم يراقبونك دائماً ليروا ما إذا كنت تضعين قدمك فوق الأرض و إنتِ ذليلة أم لا , و يدققون نظراتهم...more
Riya
Dec 07, 2012 Riya rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: russia
This is a short novel about poverty and the effects it has on a person - emotionally and physically. The two main characters are both poor and write letters to each other describing the hard life they both experience, along with the affection they feel for each other. Basically, the message that I got from this book is: being poor sucks - people will despise you and look down on you, you will be made fun of and disrespected, you will most likely get sick over and over again, and you will look li...more
Maria
Written as letters between Makar and Barbara, one an old man, the other a pretty young orphan with terrible health, this is a pretty short book.

And it can be prety well summed up by this:

"My dearest, darling Barbara, I sleep in the room in the kitchen, because it's smaller and taxes less upon my money— so I can have tea and sugar every day! I'm sending you some bonbons through Thedora."

"Dearest Makar, HOW could you send me these bonbons, when you are living in the kitchen! You are sacrificing yo...more
Kandice
I wanted to ease myself into Dostoevsky, as I have begun a few others of his and become discouraged. While I was able to finish this one, I had to force myself. I understood that he was trying to show us the plight of the poor during this time frame, but the characters he used to do this were maddening!

First, it's back and forth, I love you, but not THAT way, no you mustn't, I can't help it, I'm IN love with you, I'm too old for you, on and on until I felt like smacking them. When they finally s...more
Erik Graff
Mar 17, 2008 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Dostoevsky
Recommended to Erik by: Janny Marie Willis
I read Poor Folk (aka Poor People) in the Constance Garnett translation while studying Russian history in college. In it Dostoevsky tries to do fictionally what Friedrich Engels did journalistically in The Condition of the Working Class in England. I liked it because it gave a concrete picture of how the poor lived in pre-revolutionary Russia, if only from the perspective of an aspiring writer of the intelligentsia. I liked it also because it was so very different than the rest of his writing: m...more
Andy
This is a rather sad work which reflects on the humiliation of poverty and the fragile soul of man.

The story is told in the letters between Makar Alexievitch and his love, Varvara Dobroselova. Makar is a poor, humble copyist who lives in a tiny corner of a kitchen in a grimy boarding house, yet he seems satisfied with his life. Despite his poverty and Varvara's cautions, Makar continues to buy things for her and go into debt. Soon he can't pay his rent, his clothes are in a dreadful state and he...more
Natalie
I read this directly after the amazing House of the Dead, which may not have been the best idea. Poor Folk was good enough, but pretty much pales in comparison to House. I feel like I didn't give it a fair enough chance; it's also really not the kind of book I really get into, though. I liked the epistolary style, but the unceasing declarations of love between the two main characters just had me yawning and rolling my eyes and caused me to overlook a lot of Dostoevsky's intended statements about...more
Kevin
A series of letters between two who love each other. They are both so poor they do not believe they can marry. They have no one's respect. They do not even respect themselves. A view of how people in poverty view themselves and how others perceive them. This book made me feel grateful I have family that loves me, food to eat and a warm place to sleep.
Maria João Fernandes
"Por que não sou ave de rapina?"

"Gente Pobre" é uma história sobre um caso amoroso entre um copista de meia idade e uma jovem mulher, que vivem a poucos metros de distância um do outro. A sua relação é exposta através da sua troca de cartas, que gradualmente revela a sua dependência emocional e financeira.

"Tenho a minha fatia de pão; é verdade que o meu pão é singelo, às vezes até é seco, mas tenho-o, ganho-o com o meu trabalho, como-o com legitimidade e sem pecado."

O tema principal não é a paix...more
Ramin Ahmadi
i had a relationship with a girl and that book reminds me of her
how i was relying on her and how she left me without no word
Michelle
Poor Folk was Dostoyevsky's first novel, written in the form of correspondence between Makar and Barbara, a poor government clerk, and a seamstress who are in love, but too poor and downtrodden to do anything about it.

Overall, it's a very depressing read (unsurprisingly). Makar is so desperate for money that he walks on the toes of his boots to save the heels, and a button comes off his jacket when he is in a meeting with his superior. Even the neighborhood moneylender sees Makar as a bad risk....more
David
This will go down as the book I read on my Kindle while I tried to rock my newborn baby to sleep. Perhaps a weird choice. I recall reading Grimm's Fairy Tales while holding my first child, though I think I read some of those out loud, perhaps scarring her for life. Also, not necessarily a wise choice as Dostoyevsky is not a fast-paced author. So at 3:30 in the morning while I am half-awake, trying to get a baby to sleep but needing to keep awake so I don't drop the baby, would Dostoyevsky make m...more
Ghanem Abdullah
رواية دويستوفسكي الأولى، وهي مكتوبة على نمط رسائل يتبادلها رجل بسيط وفقير في العقد الرابع من عمره، وفتاة فقيرة تعيش على مقربة منه، في بداية العقد الثاني من عمرها، الرابط بينهما أنهما من الفقراء المساكين.
بطل الرواية "ماكار" موظف حكومي بسيط، يعمل في ما يشبه الآن وظيفة الطبّاع في الدوائر الحكومية، وهو يعيش في غرفة حقيرة، ضمن فندق متواضع يضم فئات أخرى بائسة من وجوه المجتمع الروسي الفقير.
أما الطرف الآخر فهي الفتاة "فارفارا" اليتيمة، والتي تعيش هي الأخرى في غرفة متواضعة في الجانب المقابل من الشارع، وه...more
Carsten Thomsen
There is a crack in my soul, and I can hear it trembling, quivering, stirring deep inside me.
Makar to Varvara

This is Dostoevsky’s first novel, written when he was 25. It’s a short epistolary novel and I think a good introduction to this russian literary giant. It’s essential Dostoyevskian in style and theme - the random thoughts and extreme emotions - the exploration of the destitute people - the solitary underground man who seems on the brink of insanity.

We follow the correspondence between tw...more
Emadeddin
description
Oh poor people "Makar" and "Barbra"!
You're very rich in love.

As usual with my all time favorite writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, I travel to another world.
This novella is surely one of the best.
Perfumed love letters between two rich lovers (I refuse to call them poor, they are very rich in my eyes, richer than any of us). Really painful love letters they are! They open your eyes. They introduce you to people so damn poor (in money) that they spend most of their days hungry and longing for anything...more
Ayrinne
Il fatto è che io, nonostante legga un buon numero di libri l'anno, sono ancora -e penso che a questo punto rimarrò per sempre- una lettrice sprovveduta. Posso atteggiarmi a cinica quando leggo i dialoghi tra due innamorati che si appellano "passerottino" e tentare di prendere più sul serio un romanzo come Delitto e castigo, più duro, logico, intellettuale forse, ma è una posa la mia. Preferirò sempre la storia di due "mediocri" reietti (empatia!), alle vicissitudini di chi la storia vuol cambia...more
Pedro
“Gente pobre” é o primeiro romance de Dostoievski. Motivado pelo livro de Bakhtin sobre ele (que não cheguei a completar), decidi comprá-lo e lê-lo.
Curiosamente, é um romance epistolar, mas a troca de cartas é entre dois personagens miseráveis, financeira e existencialmente.
O interessante é que percebe-se já, aqui e acolá, traços do “Homem do subsolo”, e, também, de Sônia.
Mas não é um grande romance, apesar de oferecer uma leitura vertiginosa. Os diálogos são febris. Mas, como disse Fátima Bi...more
Mohammed ELSaeed gomaa
رواية لطيفة ، رائعة كبداية لدستوفسكي .. هو أول عمل يكتبه .
بالطبع لا يمكن أن نحكم بها على ذلك العظيم ، أعظم من كتب الرواية في نظري ، .. هناك الأبله ، والجريمة والعقاب ، والإخوة كرامازوف ، ومذكرات من منزل الموتى ....
ولكن أقدمت على قراءتها كي ألمح التطور في ادب دستوفسكي عن طريق مجمل اعماله من جديد ، ومنذ البداية ....
دستوفسكي ، عالم آخر !
راهب الفكر
ياله من بؤس
إنها رواية البؤساء في روسيا
لقد كان الفقر في روسيا لا يحتمل
فالثورة نتيجة طبيعية لا مفر منها
----
الرواية
كتبها ديستويفسكي كرسائل بين رجل كبير السن مع فتاة قريبة له يحبها ويعطف عليها
اسلوب الرسائل كان في القدم أسلوباً جديدا ساحراً .. أما اليوم فهو ليس بهذه الروعة
TarasProkopyuk
Гений есть гений!

Даже в самом первом своем романе написать столь сильное произведения и удостоится очень хороших слов от наиболее влиятельного критика того времени самого Виссариона Белинского не каждому такое удавалось. А еще было много положительных замечаний о романе от знаменитых людей, писателей и издателей, в том числе и от Николая Гоголя.

А само произведения очень трогательное и скорее интимное в самом чистом понимании того слова. Это произведение служит прекрасным примером того, что даже...more
J. Aleksandr Wootton
If Dickens had been capable of brevity he might have discovered, as Dostoyevsky shows with Poor Folk, that poignancy of theme can be intensified thereby without detriment to masterful use of language.
Bahaddin Çolak
İnsancıklar olarak Türkçe'ye çevrilen Dostoyevski'nin ilk romanı. Kitabı özellikle yavaş okudum çünkü daha sonra bir dehaya dönüşen genç Dostoyevski'nin 'ilk' ne yazdığını merak ediyorum. Poor Folk, yazarın daha sonraki büyük romanlarının baş kahramanlarının hiç olmasa bir kısmının taslaklarını içeriyor. Suç ve Ceza'nın Raskolnikov'unu ve Öteki'nin (Double) Bay Golyadkin'ini bu romandaki karakterler arasında silik de olsa seçebiliyorsunuz... Belinski'nin dediği gibi, 20'li yaşlarının başlarındak...more
Chris
This book is a collection of letters between a poor civil servant and a ruined ill young woman with an unfortunate past. The charm of the story lies in what is not said. What happens when the two are together? How do the emotions, just hinted at in the letters, drive the story? The final letter is left unfinished. How does the story end? The possibilities excite the imagination and carry the reader away into Dostoyevsky's world. Even without his characteristic lush descriptions of place and peop...more
Karan Gupta
This is one of the Dostoyevsky's that I had been partially itching to read for quite some time now. I finally thought it was time to get back to another Dostoyevsky and hence the book.

Poor Folk was the first novel that got Dostoyevsky a decent amount of fame as a writer and represents a side of him before the death sentence episode that scarred his life. It represents a comparatively less mature style than one encounters in his later works, for obvious reasons. The book talks about, as is appare...more
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Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human soul had a profound influence on the 20th century novel.

Dostoevsky was the second son of a former army doctor. He was educated at home and at a private school. Shortly after the death...more
More about Fyodor Dostoyevsky...
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“And though I suffer for you, yet it eases my heart to suffer for you.” 11 likes
“I don’t even know what I’m writing, I have no idea, I don’t know anything, and I’m not reading over it, and I’m not correcting my style, and I’m writing just for the sake of writing, just for the sake of writing more to you… My precious, my darling, my dearest!” 8 likes
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