Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (November 11 1821 [O.S. October 30] – February 9 1881 [O.S. January 28]) is considered one of the greatest Russian writers. His works have had a profound and lasting effect on twentieth-century fiction. Dostoevsky's novels often feature characters living in poor conditions with disparate and extreme states of mind, and explore human psychology while analysing the political, social and spiritual states of the Russia of his time. Some scholars consider him to be the founder of existentialism for having published Notes from Underground (1874). Walter Kaufmann argues that this text constitutes "the best overture for existentialism ever written.
"You are told a lot about your education, but some beautiful, sacred memory, preserved since childhood, is perhaps the best education of all. If a man carries many such memories into life with him, he is saved for the rest of his days. And even if only one good memory is left in our hearts, it may also be the instrument of our salvation one day."
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