Dostoevsky was not only one of the world's premier novelists: he was also undisputed master of the short story. Included in this handy collection are the cynical ''Notes from the Underground,'' and the fantastic ''Dream of a Ridiculous Man,'' which offers a memorable synthesis of Dostoevsky's profound religious philosophy: life is a paradise in which we would immediately find ourselves -- if only we understood and behaved accordingly. 320 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
This collection, unique to the Modern Library, gathers seven of Dostoevsky's key works and shows him to be equally adept at the short story as with the novel. Exploring many of the same themes as in his longer works, these small masterpieces move from the tender and romantic White Nights, an archetypal nineteenth-century morality tale of pathos and loss, to the famous Notes from the Underground, a story of guilt, ineffectiveness, and uncompromising cynicism, and the first major work of existential literature. Among Dostoevsky's prototypical characters is Yemelyan in The Honest Thief, whose tragedy turns on an inability to resist crime. Presented in chronological order, in David Magarshack's celebrated translation, this is the definitive edition of Dostoevsky's best stories.