White Nights by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

It was a nice short story. The first chapter was quite descriptive about the streets of St. Petersburg but the next ones were only long conversations between Nastenka and the unnamed bachelor who is also the narrator of the story.

This is a beautiful but short-lived love story of the two. I did feel sad for the narrator who was left alone in the end. He longed for companionship and acceptance which he would have found in Nastenka but she decided to leave him on a brotherly note only to go back to her lover.

Nice short read. Recommended.

Some of my favourite lines from the book.

  • It was a wonderful night, the kind of night, dear reader, which is only possible when we are young.
  • Somehow I can’t help but be reminded of that weak and sickly girl, at whom you sometimes look with pity, sometimes with a compassionate love, and sometimes you simply do not notice her, but then suddenly, for a moment, she somehow, unexpectedly, becomes inexplicably, wonderfully beautiful, and you, startled and intoxicated, unwittingly ask yourself: What power caused those sad, thoughtful eyes to shine with such fire?
  • I was walking and singing, because when I am happy I am sure to hum something to myself, like every other happy man who has neither friends nor good acquaintances and who in a joyful moment has nobody with whom he can share his joy.
  • I’m a dreamer; I have so little real life that I regard such moments as this one, now, to be so rare that I can’t help repeating these moments in my dreams.
  • ‘Absolutely without stories of any kind! I lived, as they say, on my own, that is, absolutely alone – alone, completely alone – do you understand what it means to be alone?’
  • Listen: you tell it splendidly, but could you tell it somehow less splendidly?
  • he desires nothing, because he is above desire, because he has everything, because he is sated, because he himself is the artist of his life and he creates it for himself every hour to suit his latest whim.
  • You know, we thank some people for merely living at the same time as we do. I thank you for the fact that I met you, that I will remember you for all my life!’
  • My God! A whole minute of bliss! Is that really so little for the whole of a man’s life?

Available on Amazon Kindle Edition, Audiobook, Paperback, Mass Market Paperback and Audio CD.

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