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Dostoyevsky on World Fair of 1862 in London


In London, Dostoyevsky visited the Crystal Palace which housed the World Fair of 1862. "The fair is truly magnificent," he wrote. "You feel the tremendous power which has attracted here this mass of people from all over the world into one herd...And no matter how free and independent you might have felt before, here you are seized with an unknown fear...There is something biblical about the scene, something Babylonian, as if the prophecy from the Apocalypse has come true. You become suddenly aware that it would take much spiritual resistance and denial over centuries to withstand the pressure and not to succumb completely to the awesome impression, not to bow to the fact and not to worship Mammon, in other words, not to accept the existing for the ideal..."
- Re-reading Dostoyevsky, by Y. Karyakin, Novositi Press Agency Publishing House Moscow, 1971. pp 18.
Crystal Palace was a pavilion of glass and steel built by the famous architect Sir Joseph Paxton to house the main exhibit of the London World Fair of 1851. It was again used as the venue for World Fair in 1862.

According to wiki:
Exhibition included such large pieces of machinery as parts of Charles Babbage's analytical engine, cotton mills, and maritime engines by the firm of Henry Maudslay, as well as a range of smaller goods including fabrics, rugs, sculptures, furniture, plates, silver and glass wares, and wallpaper. The exposition also introduced the use of caoutchouc for rubber production and the Bessemer process for steel manufacture.
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Images:
  1. An electricity tower at Qazigund, Kashmir. June 2008
  2. The Great International Exhibition of 1862. from -  Life Magazine

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