The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Download The Idiot ebook. The Idiot (Russian: Идио́т, Idiot) is a novel by the 19th-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published serially in the journal The Russian Messenger in 1868–9.
The title is an ironic reference to the central character of the novel, Prince (Knyaz) Lev Nikolaevich Myshkin, a young man whose goodness and open-hearted simplicity lead many of the more worldly characters he encounters to mistakenly assume that he lacks intelligence and insight. In the character of Prince Myshkin, Dostoevsky set himself the task of depicting “the positively good and beautiful man”. The novel examines the consequences of placing such a unique individual at the centre of the conflicts, desires, passions and egoism of worldly society, both for the man himself and for those with whom he becomes involved. The result, according to philosopher A.C. Grayling, is “one of the most excoriating, compelling and remarkable books ever written; and without question one of the greatest.
Praise for Pevear and Volokhonsky’s translation of Crime and Punishment:
“Reaches as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as is possible in English. . . . The original’s force and frightening immediacy is captured. . . . The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation will become the standard English version.” –Chicago Tribune
From the Inside Flap
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s masterful translation of The Idiot is destined to stand with their versions of Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov,” and Demons as the definitive Dostoevsky in English.
After his great portrayal of a guilty man in Crime and Punishment,” Dostoevsky set out in The Idiot to portray a man of pure innocence. The twenty-six-year-old Prince Myshkin, following a stay of several years in a Swiss sanatorium, returns to Russia to collect an inheritance and “be among people.” Even before he reaches home he meets the dark Rogozhin, a rich merchant’s son whose obsession with the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna eventually draws all three of them into a tragic denouement. In Petersburg the prince finds himself a stranger in a society obsessed with money, power, and manipulation. Scandal escalates to murder as Dostoevsky traces the surprising effect of this “positively beautiful man” on the people around him, leading to a final scene that is one of the most powerful in all of world literature.
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Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky[a] (/ˌdɒstəˈjɛfski, ˌdʌs-/; Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, IPA: [ˈfʲɵdər mʲɪˈxajləvʲɪtɕ dəstɐˈjɛfskʲɪj] (About this sound listen); 11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881),[b] sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher. Dostoyevsky’s literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmospheres of 19th-century Russia, and engage with a variety of realistic philosophical and religious themes.
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