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White Nights

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  56,930 ratings  ·  4,755 reviews
White Nights is a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky that was published in 1848. Set in St. Petersburg, it is the story of a young man fighting his inner restlessness. A light and tender narrative, it delves into the torment and guilt of unrequited love. Both protagonists suffer from a deep sense of alienation that initially brings them together. A blend of romanticism and r ...more
Paperback, 82 pages
Published 1848
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Jane White nights in russian refers to the phenomenon around the the time of the summer solstice when the sun doesn't set completely and so at night it's n…moreWhite nights in russian refers to the phenomenon around the the time of the summer solstice when the sun doesn't set completely and so at night it's not completely dark, it's just dusk. I believe the farther north you go the more pronounced the phenomenon becomes, changing from polar day to the polar night (several months of constant sunlight and then several months of comlete darkness). Saint Petersburg, where the story takes place, is famous for it's white nights, and is commonly called the city of white nights. In Saint Petersburg they last roughly from the end of may to the middle of june. So that's what the title refers to.(less)
Sean I just got done with the Audible version. The narration is excellent!

Here's the audio version I just finished:…more
I just got done with the Audible version. The narration is excellent!

Here's the audio version I just finished:

Great classic!(less)

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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  56,930 ratings  ·  4,755 reviews

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Jul 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all of humanity
Recommended to Tatiana by: my mother
Shelves: classics
This story, really a novella, is the one I use to introduce people to Dostoyevsky. If you like White Nights you will like Fyodor Mikailovich, I think, and if you don't you won't. In it we're introduced to a charming intelligent young man who lives on the edges of St. Petersburg life, a shy dreamer who spends almost all his time alone. The life of his observations and imagination is very full, however. He daydreams in 3d with vivid colors passionate intricate tales that engross him completely, to ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Russian: Белые ночи = Bely Nochi = White nights, Fyodor Dostoyevsky

White Nights is a short story by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, originally published in 1848. The short story is divided into six sections: First Night, Second Night, Nastenka's Story, Third Night, Fourth Night, Morning.

First Night: The narrator describes his experience walking in the streets of St. Petersburg. He loves the city at night, and feels comfortable in it. He no longer feels comfortable during the day because all the people he is
Muhtasin Oyshik
White Nights by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

In a few pages, this story deals with many things like the ravings of a dreamy young man, the hopes of finding love, the moment of romantic waiting, and a failed love. Dostoyevsky creates a gentle atmosphere that evokes the romantic taste of that time. He is a great novelist who never ceased diving into the human soul and revealing its depths. It's a beautiful story and ends sadly.
My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?

Sadly b
Vit Babenco
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
White Nights is a melancholy trip… It is an elegy of solitude… White nights… Sad days…
A strange anguish had tormented me since early morning. I suddenly had the impression that I had been left all alone, that everyone was shrinking away from me, avoiding me.

Returning home after purposelessly wandering the streets, the protagonist – a hopeless dreamer – unexpectedly encounters an unhappy crying girl and trying to comfort her, he sees her home… And he tells her about his life… And his life story i
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Let me preface this review by announcing that I have never read anything that had put my thoughts and feelings as a dreamer so accurately as it has been put in this story!

My dear Fyodor gets it, he really does!

A dreamer is someone who shuts himself from the rest of the world and loses himself in his own mind and dreams. His entire life has been like that. That is pretty much how he lived his life, and he does not mind it, not at all, he in fact, likes it.

“I am a dreamer. I know so little of rea
Loneliness. We've all been there. Some of us may still be there but "My God, a whole moment of happiness! Is that too little for the whole of man's life?" ...more
Well, at this moment, I'm supposed to be reading Clockwork Angel because I don't want to be a judgmental snob and form an opinion without even reading the book. Or this kind of book. BUT, I found White Nights, lost on my bookshelves. I think it was fate; I don't usually believe in fate, even though I don't have any proof to disbelieve in it but also no faith to really believe in it, so I'm sort of floating in the middle. However, in this particular moment, I think fate spoke to me. And oh my... ...more
There is a sea of emotions raging beneath what seems to be Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s uncomplicated story White Nights. It talks about dreams, loneliness, failure, chance love, chivalry, and tears. How can a soul escape from a life of loneliness and unhappiness? At moments of absolute despair, dreaming may seem the only way to survive. I know and can truthfully testify to that because I am a dreamer myself. The unnamed narrator of Dostoyevsky’s love story comes to tell us of his solitude and pain. He ...more
White Nights is an emotional story narrated by an unknown narrator, who is the protagonist. He tells his story of loneliness and unrequited love. The story deals with four nights and a day of his life in which he speaks of how his lonely life was changed forever by the meeting of a young woman and falling in love with her. The love remains unrequited as the young woman is already in love with another, but he is not angry nor he is in despair when he says "may you be forever blessed for that mom ...more
"All of a sudden it seemed to me as though I, the solitary one, had been forsaken by the whole world, and that the whole world would have nothing to do with me."

No doubt that at some point in our lives, each of us can relate to the sentiment expressed by the narrator of Dostoyevsky’s short story, White Nights. A lonely soul, a young man, wanders the streets of St. Petersburg musing over a city left emptied as the crowds flee to the countryside for their holidays. He, of course, has not received
Amalia Gkavea
“I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can't help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year. I feel I know you so well that I couldn't have known you better if we'd been friends for twenty years. You won't fail me, will you? Only two minutes, and you've made me happy forever. Yes, happy. Who knows, perhaps you've reconciled me wit ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Oct 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Algernon (Darth Anyan) by: Luchino Visconti
Shelves: 2013

The novella is subtitled as : A sentimental story from the diary of a dreamer . I like to look at it as a portrait of the artist as a young man: one of his early pieces that is a little overloaded with melodrama and tends to be overshadowed by later heavyweights like Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot. My infatuation with White Nights comes by way of Italy and through the vision of Luchino Visconti, who adaptaded the story for the silver screen. As St. Petersburg is some
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Prashasti by: Shivam Chaturvedi
“I don’t know how to be silent when my heart is speaking.”

You seldom come across a book that speaks to you. I've come to believe that "White Nights" is one of Dostoevsky’s more optimistic works when compared to others, which I've tried avoiding frantically after my galling experience of reading "The Idiot".

In this story, the main character is a lonely but hopeful human who undergoes the pain of unrequited love. If it'd been someone else in place of Nastenka, you'd have easily loathed her for so
Mutasim Billah
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?”

An iconic short-story, White Nights is a tale of unrequited love which showcases the power of human emotion in its full glory. The story tells the tale of the narrator who, one fateful night of loneliness, happens to come across a young girl in distress. The two central characters and their feeling of alienation, their bonding, their musings make up most of the story. Unfortunately, cruel reality hits our protagonist soon a
Unrequited love - where would literature be without it? Where would we be without it, because, I dare say, almost all of us have experienced it; some on the receiving end, some on the giving end. But it's never been better represented than here in this wonderful story. The narrator, unnamed, loves Nastenka, and Nastenka loves someone else. Each knows everything about the other, and they are as sweet as they can be, each to the other. Dostoyevsky's inimitable style makes this a pleasure to read. ...more
Matthew Ted
51st book of 2021.

I usually distrust these small books, which I refer to as "till books", and not endearingly, but this was a pleasant surprise. On wanting to read Dostoyevsky's (Dostoevsky's) novella, White Nights, I found this small black Penguin "till book" also includes a short story, "Bobok". They are packaged together as both being tales of unrequited love, though I'm not sure how much that applies to the second story. The first story follows a man and a woman befriending one another and s
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mother-rus
My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?

White Nights is a sense-stirring cocktail of human failure. Leave it to Uncle Fyodor to delver such a wrenching tale of humiliation, albeit one splashed with a chance love and a lather of anguished poetry.
Insomniacs gather like moths. Chivalry and hormones lead to an effusion of dialogue. Maybe one should erect a filter when cold-calling pedestrians come ambling along the Neva. Slinking slyly, the mad couple burst into tears
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been a long time fan of Dostoevsky’s novels, but this is the first short story I’ve read, and it reads like a month’s worth of emotion condensed into a couple of hours. It’s an intense ride.

It takes place over four nights, through the course of which we see different lights and shades of two characters as an unorthodox romance unfolds between them. At first I was delighted, then frankly disturbed, then suddenly felt sorrow for the nameless narrator, then anger, then downright alarm, then at
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I wonder if there has been a writer more successful at evoking the feeling of solitude than Dostoyevsky. I was surprised that he also centered his pen at evoking the other feeling that is a panacea for loneliness—love. Or maybe I ought not to have been surprised at the latter, given that it is a favorite story of a good friend of mine, someone who would appreciate the altruistic and dream like depiction of romance.

What also drew my attention, though, were other things.

One was the references to
Dec 29, 2015 added it
Shelves: russian

Sitting beside you and talking to you now, I feel terrified to think of the future, for in my future I can discern nothing but more loneliness, more of this stale and unprofitable life. And what is there left for me to dream of now that I've been so happy beside you in real life and not in a dream?

For a change, our author, Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), needs no introduction, so let's get straight to the remarkable early novella, White Nights (1848). A nameless, first person narrator - young
Chavelli Sulikowska
May 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
“I don’t know how to be silent when my heart is speaking.” The Ruskie classicists really do self indulge in the painful pleasure of unrequited love. I also read Turgenev’s First Love earlier this year and found a similar, poor, desperate young hero who falls victim to a woman’s indifference.

Reminiscent, reflective and romantic is how I would describe this apparently underappreciated novella…“I like revisiting, at certain times, spots where I was once happy; I like to shape the present in the ima
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian, novella
Nothing can stir the lake of my emotions like Dostoyevsky's writing. His hero, with his pure heart, lives in his dream world. What a character! He dreams even in his dreams. He claims to be often in love but when asked with whom he is in love, his reply is, "Why, with no one, with an ideal, with the one I dream of in my sleep."

Like other Dostoyevsky novels I have read before, I saw reflections of my own psyche. I think, this is why I am very much attracted to this one.

"I have lived, as they say
Steven Godin
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
The unnamed narrator of White Nights, as he goes about telling us himself, is a bit of a dreamer, a loner, with no real friends to call friends. He only knows the look and soul of the physical places around his city, Saint Petersburg. Hiding from the day, he wanders aimlessly around the city at night, animating each street corner, trying to fill the voids of his existence. Dostoyevsky’s short novel lasts for four nights. On the first night, the dreamer meets a crying woman, and bravely approache ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel is wonderfully written. The flow, the imagery and the character development. The main character claims he is too shy to get into a relationship -- "And I do nothing but dream every day that at last I shall meet someone. Oh, if only you knew how often I have been in love that way. With an ideal, with the one I dream of in my sleep." Who doesn't dream of the "someone" coming into a person's life. And the chance to experience the relationship with that "someone". "May your sky be clear, ...more
عماد العتيلي

“May your sky be clear, may your sweet smile be bright and untroubled, and may you be blessed for that moment of blissful happiness which you gave to another, lonely and grateful heart!”

Let me tell you something, no one can express feelings and emotions so deeply and perfectly like my dear, precious, and all-time favorite writer: Fyodor Dostoyevsky!
I don't know why my hands keep shaking when I read his novels! It's really weird! I feel like he's controlling me! possessing my soul!!!

I fell in lo
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dostoyevsky gets it.
Sidharth Vardhan
“Why is it that even the best of men always seem to hide something from other people and to keep something back? Why not say straight out what is in one's heart, when one knows that one is not speaking idly? As it is everyone seems harsher than he really is, as though all were afraid of doing injustice to their feelings, by being too quick to express them."

It is not so in FD’s works. In FD’s world, everybody is talking about his feelings. Even the most quiet and loneliest of people - one of
Ahmad Khalid
This is the first work I read by Dostoyevsky, and doubtlessly, won't be the last! I have been encouraged by many friends to give Russian Literature a try, and specifically read for this legendary author. That being said, I'm really glad to have listened to them for it was worth it! Of course, I didn't want to get into chunky works for a start. So, I asked a friend of mine if 𝑊ℎ𝑖𝑡𝑒 𝑁𝑖𝑔ℎ𝑡𝑠 would be a good entrance to RL, and he highly recommended it.

This so beautifully written story follows a lone
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"I have lived, as they say, keeping myself to myself, that is, utterly alone-alone entirely alone. Do you know what it means to be alone?"

I think Dostoyevsky knows the answer very well, again i thought and asked to myself what kind of an extraordinary life that this man lived inspiring him to create extraordinary characters like the one in this short story.

I wish i could learn the name of the hero of the story. With his pure heart, he lives in his dream world, what a character, he dreams even i
Ram Alsrougi
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My life in a nutshell!

"White Nights" marks my second meeting with Dostoevsky and I am certainly not disappointed.

The style of this short novel is enchanting. History seems to be veiled by that fog which is proper to dreams.

In the middle of the fog only two characters move during the nights, their souls approach for a moment.
I don't want to say more about this little gem.
I only know that a single reading is not enough to grasp its beauty in its entirety.

For now I put it virtually on the bedside t
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Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. His debut, the epistolary novella Poor Folk (1846), made his name. In 1849 he was arrested for involvement with the politically subversive 'Petrashevsky circle' and until 1854 he lived in a convict prison in Omsk, Siberia. From this experience came The House of the Dead (1860-2). In 1860 he began the journal Vremya (Time). Already married, ...more

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“But how could you live and have no story to tell?” 1799 likes
“I am a dreamer. I know so little of real life that I just can't help re-living such moments as these in my dreams, for such moments are something I have very rarely experienced. I am going to dream about you the whole night, the whole week, the whole year. I feel I know you so well that I couldn't have known you better if we'd been friends for twenty years. You won't fail me, will you? Only two minutes, and you've made me happy forever. Yes, happy. Who knows, perhaps you've reconciled me with myself, resolved all my doubts.

When I woke up it seemed to me that some snatch of a tune I had known for a long time, I had heard somewhere before but had forgotten, a melody of great sweetness, was coming back to me now. It seemed to me that it had been trying to emerge from my soul all my life, and only now-

If and when you fall in love, may you be happy with her. I don't need to wish her anything, for she'll be happy with you. May your sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you be for ever blessed for that moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart. Isn't such a moment sufficient for the whole of one's life?”
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