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Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Idiot is an immaculate portrait of innocence tainted by the brutal reality of human greed.
Returning to St Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, the gentle and naive epileptic Prince Myshkin - the titular 'idiot' - pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General, his wife, and his three daughters. But his life is thrown into turmoil when he chances on a photograph of the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna.
Utterly infatuated with her, he soon finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal, and finally, murder.
Inspired by an image of Christ's suffering Dostoyevsky sought to portray in Prince Myshkin the purity of a 'truly beautiful soul' and explore the perils that innocence and goodness face in a corrupt world.
Review by John Purcell
What is so good about good people? Nothing, they just exist to make the rest of us look bad. Always speaking the truth, doing good deeds, thinking before they act, urging us to be better people...
They don't know how the world really works.
Imagine for a moment a truly good person dropping into your life. Not just a fairly good person like Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi, but more a Jesus or a Buddha. Their presence would very quickly become tedious.
The Idiot is Fyodor Dostoyevsky's attempt to imagine the effect a good person would have on society in nineteenth century Russia. Probably the most accessible and best loved of Dostoyevsky's novels, The Idiot is a gripping, utterly brilliant drama with a great deal of heart.
About the Author
Moscow-born Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) served time in a convict prison for his political alliances, and in his later years his passion for gambling led him deeply into debt. His novels include The Devils and The Brothers Karamazov.
A Note on the Translation
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.
ISBN: 9781853261756 ISBN-10: 1853261750 Series: Wordsworth Classics Audience:
Number Of Pages: 567 Published: 3rd March 2010 Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd Country of Publication: GB Dimensions (cm): 20.3 x 12.8
Weight (kg): 0.39
Fyodor Mikhailovitch Dostoevsky was a Russian writer and essayist, notably known for his novels Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.
Dostoyevsky's literary output explores human psychology in the troubled political, social and spiritual context of 19th-century Russian society. Considered by many as a founder or precursor of 20th-century existentialism, his Notes from Underground (1864), written in the embittered voice of the anonymous "underground man", was called the "best overture for existentialism ever written" by Walter Kaufmann. A prominent figure in world literature, Dostoyevsky is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest psychologists in world literature. Freud said his book The Brothers Karamazov contained all the psychology.