White Nights


Title: White Nights

Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Translator: Mahnaz Mehri

Publisher: Behnoud

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Subject: Russian stories

Number of pages: 459

Language: Farsi



White Nights or Bright Nights is the title of a short and popular novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, published in 1848, and is the second work of Fyodor Dostoevsky in terms of time.

In one of his letters, Fyodor Dostoevsky described the work as “an emotional novel from the memories of a dreamer.”

This story is about a personal life that suffers from loneliness and daydreaming.

In fact, it is a description of the passion of a young dreamer, who is looking for the lost one who speaks to him.

In this profound work, when you hear a young man’s nightmares, you feel that these voices are the voice of the author himself.

The fact that the story is in first-person language also raises the issue that in “White Nights” Fyodor Dostoevsky powerfully expresses the insights, thoughts and dark corners of people’s lives.

This power is such that all the characters in the White Nights story seem familiar.
The beautiful story of the White Nights begins with a poetic quote from a poem (flower) composed by Ivan Tour Gnif.
And was it his destiny to reach your heart at some point in his life?

Or he was destined from the beginning to live a fluid moment for this very moment. Deep down in his heart, the narrator recounts his observations as he walks the streets of St. Petersburg.

Loves city nights and feels relaxed. He does not like daily walks because he does not find many people he likes to see during the day, his feelings are aroused during acquaintances’ night visits, he is happy with their joys and sad with their sorrows. Turns.
When he sees an unfamiliar face, he feels homesick. He knows new homes. The houses talk to him and tell him how they have been rebuilt or painted or how they have been destroyed.

He lives alone in a small apartment in St. Petersburg, with an antisocial maid older than him.

Like many of Dostoevsky’s stories, Bright Nights is the story of an anonymous first-person narrator who lives in the city and suffers from loneliness and the inability to stop his thoughts.
This character is the prototype of a permanent dreamer. He lives in his mind, imagining an old man who always passes by but never talks or houses are his friends. This story is divided into six parts.

White Nights
first night
The book begins with a quote from Ivan Turgenev’s flower poem:

“And was this the role that fate had chosen for him?”

The only moment in his life

To be close to your heart?

Or that his fortune was from the beginning

Take only a passing breath

“In the neighborhood of your heart”

The narrator describes his experiences of walking the streets of St. Petersburg. He loves the city at night, because he feels calm at night. He did not feel comfortable during the day because not everyone he used to see during the day was gone.
All his emotions came from there. If they were happy, he was happy. If they were sad, he would be sad too. He felt lonely when he saw new faces.

The main character also knew the houses. As he walked down the street, they talked to him and told him how they were being renovated, repainted or demolished with new paint.

The protagonist lives alone in a small apartment in St. Petersburg and only has his old, unsocial maid Matrona to accompany him. He describes his relationship with a young girl named Nastenka (the loving little Anastasia). He sees her for the first time, leaning against a fence and crying.

He worries and thinks to himself if he should go and ask him what the problem is, but he eventually forces himself to keep walking. There is something special about that girl that arouses the curiosity of the narrator. Eventually, when he hears a scream, he intervenes and saves her from the man who is harassing her.
The main character is embarrassed and starts shaking when he grabs his arm. He explains that he is alone and has never known a woman. Nastenka assures him that women like to be shy, and he likes her.

He explains to Nastenka how he spends a few minutes a day dreaming about a girl who can only say two words to him, a girl who will not disgust him and will not make fun of him when he comes.

He explains how he thinks of speaking to a shy, respectful, and eager girl; Tell her that she is dying alone and that she has no chance of having a daughter.

He tells Nastenka that it is the duty of a girl to rudely reject and ridicule such a shy person.
When they get to Nastenka’s house, the main character asks if he will see her again and adds before the girl can answer. Anyway, he will go to the place where they met tomorrow night to make this the only happy memory in his life alone. Bring to life. Nastenka agrees.

Stating that he could not prevent the girl from coming, he added that he should be there anyway. The girl will tell him her story and be with him, as long as it does not lead to a romantic relationship. He is also the narrator alone.

The second night
In their second meeting, Nastenka introduces herself to the narrator and the two become friends. Nastenka expresses surprise, because whatever he thinks he sees he knows nothing about him, he replies that he has no story because he has spent his whole life completely alone.

When Nastenka pressures him to continue, the word dreamer emerges, who considers himself the main character. The main character in the definition of “dreamer” says that “dreamer” – if you want a precise definition – is not a human being but an intermediate being.

In a preface, similar to a lecture in “Underground Notes,” the narrator expresses his longing for companionship in a very long speech, to the point where Nastenka utters, “You speak as if you were reading from a book.” He begins to tell his story in the third person, calling himself a “hero.”
This “hero” is happy when everything is over and people start walking and walking.

When he refers to the poem “The Goddess of Lust”, he quotes Vasily Zhukovsky. He has all kinds of dreams at this time.

From making friends with poets to having a place in the winter with a girl next to him. He says that the soullessness kills people’s daily lives while he can turn his life into his dreams in any way he wants.

At the end of his provocative speech, Nastenka sympathetically assures him that Omi can be his friend.

The story of Nastenka
In the third part, Nastenka tells his story to the narrator. She lived with her strict grandmother, who raised her in a very protected environment. Since her grandmother’s pension was very small, they had rented part of the house to earn an income.

When the former tenant dies, Nastenka is replaced by a younger man, despite her grandmother’s wishes. The young man begins a silent relationship with Nastenka, often giving him a book so that he can develop a habit of reading.

As a result, he became interested in the books of Sir Walter Scott and Alexander Pushkin. One day the young man invites her and her grandmother to the theater where the play “Seville Hairdresser” is performed.

On the night the young tenant is to leave St. Petersburg for Moscow, Nastenka escapes from his grandmother and persuades her to marry him.
He rejects the immediate marriage, saying he does not have enough money to support both of them, but assuring Nastenka that he will be back for exactly one more year. It has been a long time and he has not sent her a single letter during this time.

The third night
The narrator gradually realizes that, despite his insistence that their friendship remains Platonic, he has involuntarily fallen in love with Nastenka; However, he helps Nastenka by writing a letter and sending it to her, hiding her feelings for Nastenka.

They wait for the letter or for him to be found; But over time, Nastenka becomes restless with his absence.

He soothes himself with the narrator’s friendship, without being aware of the depth of his feelings for himself, he says, “I love you because you have not fallen in love with me.”

The narrator, suffering from the one-sided nature of his love for her, realizes that at the same time, he subconsciously feels alienated from her.

The fourth night
Nastenka, despite knowing that her lover is in St. Petersburg, is disappointed with his absence and his reply.

The narrator continues to comfort her, Nastenka is very grateful and this causes the narrator to break his resolve and confess his love for Nastenka.

Nastenka is confused at first, the narrator realizing that they can no longer continue their friendship as before, insists that he never sees her again.

Nastenka, however, insists that he stay.

They take a walk, and Nastenka says that one day their relationship may take on a romantic flavor, but she openly wants the narrator’s friendship in her life.

The narrator becomes hopeful with this vision until, as they walk, they pass a young man who stands up and calls out to them. It turns out that he is Nastenka’s lover and Nastenka jumps into his arms.

Nastenka hurriedly returns and kisses the narrator, but then walks in the night with his love, leaving the narrator alone and heartbroken.

“My nights ended in the morning.

The weather was terrible. “The raindrops hit my window glass tragically.” she will be.

Nastenka also mentions that she will be getting married in less than a week and hopes that she will attend. She cries when the narrator reads the letter.

Matryona, his servant, breaks the narrator’s line of thought by saying that the spider web is finished. The narrator realizes that he has never seen Matriona through the eyes of an old woman. He looks much older than ever.
The narrator briefly thinks about whether his future will always be without a companion and love. Yet he does not despair: “But that I may never hate you, Nastenka! That I cast a dark shadow over your bright and calm joy!”

That I am a seed of those delicate blossoms that you put on your dark hair when I break a step with her in the altar!

Oh no… never ever! May the sky always be clear, may your dear smile always be bright and happy, and may you always be happy, thankful for that moment of mercy and joy that you gave to another lonely and grateful heart من My God, only a moment of mercy? Is such a moment not enough for a man’s whole life?
Bright Nights, originally titled Belye Nochi, is a love story from the memories of a dreamer. The story of this short novel, like most of Dostoevsky’s stories, is based on his own life.

A story that, if you read Dostoevsky’s biography, you know has somehow lived on.

Part of the text of the book White Nights
It seemed to me that all the creatures of God had risen to the summer, and the caravan of caravans was fleeing the city and migrating to the summer – it seemed to me that there was nothing left for St. Petersburg to do in the desert, so that at last my heart sank, I was annoyed. And I was embarrassed.

I had nowhere to go and nothing to leave Petersburg for. I was ready to go with each of these carts, to ride in a carriage with each of these respectable and well-to-do gentlemen, and to leave the city, but no one, absolutely no one, invited me;

It was as if everyone had forgotten me, it was as if they all considered me a real stranger.
I walked for a long time, wandering in the city until, as usual, I forgot where I was, and suddenly I saw that I had found myself in front of the city traffic jam. A new vivacity fell into my heart, and I passed through the barricade and began to walk in the fields and among the greenery, and I did not get tired at all, and I felt that a heavy burden had fallen from my soul.

The passers-by all looked at me so happily that you said there was nothing left to greet and compliment. It was not clear what everyone was happy about, they were all smoking cigars, and I was so happy I had never been.

The desert was so heartbreaking and rotten for me, a half-sick city dweller in the straits of the city, that you said I had suddenly gone to Italy on a wind horse.
Our Petersburg has a strange, indescribable and very pleasant quality which, with the arrival of spring, suddenly shows all its power and its glorious God-given forces, enlivens and beautifies and colors, and shows all the glory of its sky.

However, it reminds me of a skinny responsible girl who sometimes you look at with pity and sometimes with compassionate love and sometimes you do not notice and look at her at all, but suddenly, as if in the blink of an eye, spontaneously, as you can not describe, it seems like a beautiful miracle. You get excited and amazed at where this electricity comes from in these sad and thoughtful eyes.

Related books

1- Introducing the book  on YouTube

2- Introducing the book  in Aparat

Additional information


فئودور داستایوفسکی



There are no reviews yet.

Show only reviews in English (0)

Be the first to review “White Nights”

Your email address will not be published.