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White Nights

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  38,216 ratings  ·  2,944 reviews
White Nights, is a short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky that was published in 1848. Set in St. Petersburg, this 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 ...more
Paperback, 82 pages
Published (first 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…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:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Classics/Wh...

Great classic!(less)

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Tatiana
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
Sarah
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
...more
Florencia
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
Lizzy
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
Loretta
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?"
Candi
"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
...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
...more
Piyangie
White Nights is a story said in first person by an unknown narrator. He, who is the protagonist, 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 ...more
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
...more
Duane
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.
Coffee&Quasars
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
...more
Steve
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 -
...more
Amalie
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novella, russian
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
...more
Luís C.
Dostoevsky tells us the story of a lonely, dreamy young man who fights his anguish of loneliness with long nocturnal walks on the banks of the Neva. During one of these walks, he meets Nastenka, a 17-year-old girl who is waiting for her fiancé and decides to keep him company. The young man immediately falls in love and is already planning for the future, convinced that he has finally found great love.
I would not reveal anything of the plot of this short story, which I found the romanticism
...more
Jonfaith
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, albiet 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 ambling along the Neva. Slinking slyly, the mad couple burst into tears and
...more
Laurene
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
description

“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
...more
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
...more
Supreeth
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Dostoyevsky gets it.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Catching up on Classics # 1

There is something to say about isolation and loneliness. I think sometimes the introvert searches for someone to love him just the way he is and form instant bonds that anyone will do. Even just for a day. Then he'll know what it's like.
Betül
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
...more
Laysee
Jan 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star-books

Night is that time of day when loneliness tends to be amplified. “White Nights” is set in summer time in St Petersburg but it has none of the warmth and cheeriness one associates with summer. The narrator has no name and this could well be the story of anyone who finds himself in the same predicament. “White Nights” is subtitled “a sentimental story from the diary of a dreamer”. It is a very short, sad, love story but it packs in psychological insights that are real and true.

It is the holiday
...more
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 ...more
Prashasti
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
...more
Amirography
I can see why some would love this book, but it did not match my taste. I give this book 3 stars not as a judgment towards the quality of this work, but rather as an way to express my disinterest towards it.
Shivam Chaturvedi
"Now that I sit beside you and talk to you it is strange for me to think of the future, for in the future—there is loneliness again, again this musty, useless life; and what shall I have to dream of when I have been so happy in reality beside you! Oh, may you be blessed, dear girl, for not having repulsed me at first, for enabling me to say that for two evenings, at least, I have lived."

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Dostoyevsky's White Nights is romanticism at its zenith, with an almost mystic charm to it. If
...more
Chrissie
Dec 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
I don’t usually enjoy short stories but I usually love everything Fyodor Dostoyevsky writes. So, my total boredom while reading this story surprised me.

I did laugh at two things. One is hidden in the spoiler.The other is that in the beginning the unnamed narrator telling the story talks to the houses along his street where he promenades most every evening. In St. Petersburg. The book is about a man, the unnamed narrator who meets a woman. Well, he saves her from a drunk on an evening stroll.
...more
Bob
“My God, a moment of bliss. Why, isn't that enough for a whole lifetime?”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, White Nights

Dostoyevsky doesn’t answer this question, but he does leave the reader in a mood to ponder his own personal answer.

Fyodor Dostoevsky starts this slowly, but even a short story the characters must be introduced. Our narrator refers to himself as a “dreamer” yet to me his description better reveals an introvert. Do the words dreamer and introvert describe the same type of person? I guess
...more
Flaminia
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
you know when you want to tell someone about a dream you had the previous night but you hardly remember it yourself and you end up telling them just what happened without telling them how you felt, you only know that it was pleasant.
this book was just like that. I don't know how to express in words how this book made me feel, I'm only capable of assert that this book was pleasant to read, no... it wasn't just pleasant, it was a blessing, it was like reading of a dream, one of those you have and
...more
Mia (Parentheses Enthusiast)
White Nights is, on its face, a rather simple story. Plot-wise, not much happens at all, but there's a sea of emotions raging beneath.

This is a meditation on dreams; on love; on reality; on stories, and how they're told; on the occasionally delightful yet profoundly sad lives of those who forsake the real world for their own fantasies. It's a story about a very crushing instance of painfully unrequited love, yes, but that's almost secondary to Dostoyevsky's breathtakingly beautiful descriptions
...more
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Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky (see Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky/Fyodor Dostoevsky/Feodor Dostoevsky) or Dostoïevski (see Fiodor Dostoïevski/Fiódor M. Dostoievski/Fédor Mikhaïlovitch Dostoïevski), was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human psyche had a ...more
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“But how could you live and have no story to tell?” 1614 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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