Books: Engineer of Souls

DOSTOEVSKI—Ernest J. Simmons—Oxford ($3).

Behind the black-bearded, wild-eyed, dome-browed face of Fedor Dostoevski brooded one of the great analytical minds of literature. This "engineer of human souls," as Biographer Ernest Simmons calls him, graduated from a military engineering college in 1843, tunneled such depths into man's mind, spanned such cataracts of feeling, built such a monumental Cloaca Maxima of passionate drama that a contemporary critic said of Crime and Punishment that people with strong nerves became almost ill over the novel, and people with weak nerves were obliged to cease reading it.

Dostoevski's life was as subterranean as the human nature he wrote...

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