On 12 August 1843 Dostoyevsky took a job as a lieutenant engineer and lived with Adolph Totleben in an apartment owned by Dr. Rizenkampf, a friend of Mikhail. Rizenkampf characterised him as "no less good-natured and no less courteous than his brother, but when not in a good mood he often looked at everything through dark glasses, became vexed, forgot good manners, and sometimes was carried away to the point of abusiveness and loss of self-awareness".  Dostoyevsky's first completed literary work, a translation of Honoré de Balzac 's novel Eugénie Grandet , was published in June and July 1843 in the 6th and 7th volume of the journal Repertoire and Pantheon ,   followed by several other translations. None were successful, and his financial difficulties led him to write a novel.  
To his contemporary readers, Dostoyevsky appeared as a writer primarily interested in the terrible aspects of human existence. However, later critics have recognized that the novelist sought to plumb the depths of the psyche, in order to reveal the full range of the human experience, from the basest desires to the most elevated spiritual yearnings. Above all, he illustrated the universal human struggle to understand God and self. Dostoyevsky was, Katherine Mansfield wrote, a being who loved, in spite of everything, adored life, even while he knew the dank, dark places.
FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Raskolnikov is a mentally insecure student who has stopped going to university. He lives in a very small, rented room in Saint Petersburg . He does not let anyone help him, not even his friend Razumihin. He plans to kill and steal money from an old pawnbroker and moneylender , Alyona Ivanovna, but it is not clear why he wants to kill her yet. While he is thinking about this plan, Raskolnikov meets Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov, a sad drunkard who recently spent all of his poor family's money on drinking. He also gets a letter from his mother. His mother says that she will soon visit St. Petersburg. She writes about his sister's sudden engagement , saying that they will talk about it when they arrive.