I love breaking rules and who/what gives me a better opportunity to break rules than Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alexander Pushkin and the grand, magical city of St. Petersburg? What rules? Well, the whole reason I put this blog together was to share my huge gallery of photos I have taken of Russian cultural monuments over the years. They just use up more and more gigabytes in my computer and don’t do a damn thing more. So I opened this blog to put them to use. And here I am, on just my 11th post, skipping over my own photos to provide – what? – somebody’s gorgeous fantasy of the literary wonderland called St. Petersburg. This poster was created (to my knowledge) in 2013 to promote Dostoevsky Day on July 6, 2013. I fell in love with the image instantly and continue to love it to this day. Dostoevsky, the smart, sincere, college student, marching down the street. Doesn’t it fit? I think Dostoevsky in jeans and a vest is a killer fit. Then add this: He’s walking past Alexander Pushkin’s house, the place the great poet lived and died (it’s the pinky/orange building across the Moika Canal to Dostoevsy’s left (your right). Pushkin, Dostoevsky, the 21st century – what’s not to like? For me, however (and thousands, if not hundreds of thousands) of foreign visitors, this exact spot holds especial memories. If you could get into the picture and turn the gaze to the direct left, you would more or less be looking down the tiny Winter Canal that leads from the Moika to the Neva River. Through an arch and over bridges one looks across the Neva to the Spit on Vasilyevsky Island and the St Peter and Paul Fortress on the Petersburg Side. I lived there in a dorm on the chip of land across from the Fortress ages and ages ago. It’s a place where I encountered Russian literature in the flesh – sort of – for the first time, really. I wrote about an encounter I once had with Nikolai Gogol as I walked across the bridge one early, snowy morning from my dorm to my classes. If you can believe it, you can read that in a blog I wrote for The Moscow Times. I guess it’s kind of in the same vein as Dostoevsky passing by Pushkin’s in his jeans and loafers… Thanks, by the way, to the Dostoevsky Museum in St. Petersburg for these fabulous images.