The Idiot

The Idiot (2016)

English language

Published Nov. 22, 2016


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4 stars (6 reviews)

The Idiot (pre-reform Russian: Идіотъ; post-reform Russian: Идиот, tr. Idiót) is a novel by the 19th-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was first published serially in the journal The Russian Messenger in 1868–69. The title is an ironic reference to the central character of the novel, Prince (Knyaz) Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, a young man whose goodness, open-hearted simplicity and guilelessness 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 singular 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. Joseph Frank describes The Idiot as "the most personal of all Dostoevsky's major works, the book …

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Review of 'The Idiot' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

A masterpiece. Terrific characters and dialogue, a moving and engaged fold of various plot-lines that centre round the hero, an honest and noble "idiot", as he attempts to understand the insanity of Russian high society. A beautiful book.

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