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The Journal of Literary Satire | Hastily Written & Slopilly Edited
Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Walking Tour of St. Petersburg and Environs with Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky

DostoevskyAll that day I had been walking, as is my habit, about the town and it occurred to me that I should share my knowledge of St. Petersburg with you, dear reader. I had been feeling unwell and rushed back to my lodgings before a fever set in. It was just before sunset, just before the gloom settles over the houses. As the night grew colder, I took out my journal and without my usual vexation and anxiety, and not absorbed in indignation and anger—though, earlier in the day I had been involved in an argument with a sentimental milksop over the beating in public of an aged and crippled mare, and I must now admit my resentment of his insolence is growing deeper—I remained calm for the purpose of guiding my fellow man on a walking tour of my beloved city.

St. Petersburg.

7 a.m.: Meeting place—N_____ office. Walk slowly along S. Place until you come to K. Bridge. Cross K. Bridge and walk all the way to V___ Prospect.

8 a.m.: Stop for breakfast at _____ Hotel. The ____ Hotel is a wretched place, make sure you ask the serving staff to boil the cream.

9 a.m.: On leaving ____ Hotel, cross back over V___ Prospect and turn left. After a short walk, you will arrive at a long blackened building, formerly the home of a hussar called A_____. A guided tour is available for the small charge of a pyatak* (five copecks).

10 a.m.: Turn left on leaving a hussar called A____’s residence and continue along V___ Prospect until you come to X___ Bridge. Stop to gaze at the black swollen river. I have never liked water and have often thought of ending my journey here. After admiring the hay barges, and being careful of your footing on the dirty wooden pavement, go straight ahead and you will arrive at …

11 a.m.: … K___ Boulevard. From here, you may witness the beautiful copulas and purchase trinkets and souvenirs from scrofulous market women. A word of warning: never pay more than a dvugrvennyy (twenty copecks) for any item. Bartering is expected and you may even snap up a piece of craftwork for as little as a kopeyka (one copeck)!! Expect to pay at least a grivennik (ten copecks) for a small ‘original’ icon. With your portrait of Basil the Great tucked safely away in your complimentary Dostoevsky Walking Tour shoulder bag, leave K___ Boulevard via ____ Street.

12 p.m.: ____ Street. Weary from all that shopping? Do not fret, it is lunch! Enjoy a lunch of veal, vodka, and savouries at this reasonably priced and traditionally themed eating-house. Pessinniki choral singing accompanied by clarinet, violin, and Turkish drum will, I am most confident, entertain you. (A gratuity of one grosh (half-copeck) for the musicians is included in the price. Extra tips are at your discretion.)

2 p.m.: Exit the eating-house and turn right on ____ Street and, via the V-m Bridge (please take time to look once more at the river—the waters may be blue here), and walk on to -oy Prospect, here you will find a large wooden building—District Police Station (we are sorry but the station is closed to the general public).

3 p.m.: Here the walker has a choice in using X or Y Prospect to reach ____ Bridge and the house of my physician, Dr. B__n. Dr. B__n’s servants will provide tea from an original samovar! Enjoy!

4 p.m.: Retracing your steps along X Prospect—note Y Prospect forks north from -kov Bridge after 100 yards and merges with __ Prospect— we will once again reach X__ Bridge from which it is possible to watch the red sun setting in the glowing sky.

4:30 p.m.: And come full circuit to N___ office. There is a choice of evening activities: a) a visit to the nearby town of T___ in the province of R___ or b) a trip to the vast estates of the Prince P___ in the province of N___.

An evening’s entertainment at Prince R___’s is available for a poltinnik (fifty copeck) surcharge.

To book this once-in-a-lifetime tour at a special price of a zholtyy bilet, please contact **

*Note: all exchange rates correct November 11th, 1867.
**Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky may not be available in person to accompany tours. If he is depressed, epileptic, in prison, or gambling, experienced tour guides will be selected from Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, Alexie Ivanovitch, Yakov Petrovitch Golyadkin, and Rodion Romanovitch Roskalnikov. (Please note that The Underground Man is on permanent leave of absence).

Steve Finbow lives in London. His fiction, essays, short plays, poetry, and stuff is in, or will soon be in, 3am Magazine, The Beat, Big Bridge, Dicey Brown, The Edward Society, Eyeshot, The Guardian, InkPot, Locus Novus, McSweeney’s, nth Position, Pindeldyboz, Taj Mahal Review, Tattoo Highway, Thieves Jargon, Tin Lustre Mobile, Über, Wandering Army, Word For/Word Word Riot, Xtant, and Zacatecas. He writes the bi-weekly cultural column Pond Scum for Me Three, where he is also a contributing editor, he is associate fiction editor for Absinthe Literary Review, reviews the odd book for Stop Smiling, and is a writer with Quarantine Theatre Company. A longer bio and links to his work exists here: