He is really ranting against the French. He comments on their respect for eloquence remarking that they seem to appreciate anyone who talks even if it is nonsense.
He also talks about their marital shenanigans with the mistress culture criticising those who secretly dream of being rich but prefer to act as the indignant poor.
But his main criticisms are reserved for the Parisians who he argues are obsessed with the idea of seeing the sea and rolling about in the grass. These activities lead them into the countryside but their attitude towards the rest of France and the rest of the world never really changes.
He serves up stereotypes is a generalist but at least he is honest and gives it to you straight. You can imagine him going home to Russia and bolting the door swearing never to leave the country again.
Forget looking at cathedrals and palaces Dostoevsky is looking at the souls and in many cases he doesn’t like what he sees.
A review will follow soon…