White Nights – Fyodor Dostoevsky

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 moment of bliss and happiness which you gave to another lonely and grateful heart! My God, a whole moment of happiness! Is that too little for the whole of a man’s life.”

Although the story is simply about a young man’s loneliness and unrequited love, what is really amazing is the way his emotions and emotional struggle is described so masterfully by Dostoyevsky. This ‘sentimental story from the diary of a dreamer’ talks about a life of a loner, how he immersed in his imaginary and dream world to avoid the harsh reality of his loneliness; how his life is changed from dream to reality with the meeting of a young woman, as he falls in love and feels there is a dear heart who cares for him and that he is no longer alone; and how, when his love was not returned by the young woman, once again turn to a dream world from reality where he finds consolation in the moment of happiness he experienced as being enough to sustain for his whole life.

The entire writing is superbly done that the reader feels that Dostoyevsky is telling your own story. I believe, all the youth, irrespective of time, country, and culture, go through similar emotional stages that this young man in the story goes through. For this reason, the story feels so close to the reader’s heart.

There is absolutely no word to describe the brilliance of Dostoyevsky. His perceptions, his vision, and his mastery in crafting his thoughts into beautifully written prose have made him undoubtedly the best Russian author of all time.

Rating: 5/5

About the author

Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. Her devotion to literature has taken shape in reading and reviewing books of various genres set in different periods of time. She dabs at a little poetry and fiction of her own and hopes to share her work with the readers in the future.

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