Looking into the Abyss – Dostoevsky Anecdote

Before having children of his own, Dostoyevsky used to regale his nieces and nephews with stories about ghosts, but the writer who peered into the abyss of the self showed that such phantoms weren’t the most frightening beings of all. His young listeners “should go into an empty room, he said, look into a mirror and stare into their own eyes for five minutes,” Birmingham writes. “It is terrifying, he told the children, and nearly impossible.”

How a Murderous Poet Inspired One of Dostoevsky’s Masterworks
Jennifer Szalai

Review of
The Sinner and the Saint: Dostoevsky and the Gentleman Murderer Who Inspired a Masterpiece
Kevin Birmingham