by Dostoevsky, Fyodor


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On Nov 26, 2010, arslectoris said
"My intention is to portray a truly beautiful soul," said Dostoevsky of Prince Myshkin, the hero of The Idiot. And suceed he did, in embodying kindness, selflessness, and disinterested generosity in the Prince. So why is Prince Myshkin called "an idiot" by the upper-class Petersburg society in which he has just entered at the beginning of this tale? Is it simply because he suffers from epilepsy and has just returned from a sanatorium in Switzerland? Or because those around him cannot understand how anyone in their right mind could possibly be as unconcerned about self-seeking and worldy gain as he is? This story chronicles Prince Myshkin's brief but tragic career among his compatriots, and is a painful witness to the total incompatibility of goodness with the corruption of the world as we know it.Written in Dostoevsky's uniquely intense and introspective style, it is a searching exploration of the hearts and motives of men, both good and evil, and a moving portrait of both the touching effect of Prince Myshkin's goodness on those around him and the stunning refusal of so many to accept his goodness, or to even tolerate it. This book includes many of Dostoevsky's remarkably insightful observations and prophecies on the direction in which the world of his time was heading, into the existentialism of the twentieth century. Of special interest to Dostoevsky fans will be the many autobiographical details Dostoevsky included in it, including a detailed account of his well-known near-execution, his experiences with epilepsy, and the famous Holbein painting of the crucified Christ which impacted him so profoundly. A fascinating and worthwile read!

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