The Idiot

The Idiot

3.9 53
by Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky

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The Idiot (Russian: Идиот, Idiot) is a novel written by 19th century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published serially in Russkiy Vestnik between 1868 and 1869. The Idiot is ranked beside some of Dostoevsky's other works as one of the most brilliant literary achievements of the "Golden Age" of Russian literature. It


The Idiot (Russian: Идиот, Idiot) is a novel written by 19th century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published serially in Russkiy Vestnik between 1868 and 1869. The Idiot is ranked beside some of Dostoevsky's other works as one of the most brilliant literary achievements of the "Golden Age" of Russian literature. It was not published in English until the 20th century.[2]
Twenty-seven-year-old Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin returns to Russia after spending several years at a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by the society of St. Petersburgh for his idiocy (epilepsy) and being too generous and innocent, he finds himself at the centre of a struggle between a rich, kept woman and a gorgeous, virtuous girl who both wish to win his affection. Unfortunately, Myshkin's very goodness seems to bring disaster to all he meets, leading to a climax that tragically reveals how, in a world obsessed with money, power, and sexual conquest, a sanatorium is the only place for a saint.

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Meet the Author

Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (11 November 1821 – 9 February 1881) was a Russian writer of realist fiction and essays. He is best known for his novels Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov.
Dostoyevsky's literary works explored 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, Dostoyevsky wrote, with the embittered voice of the anonymous "underground man", Notes from Underground (1864), which was called the "best overture for existentialism ever written" by Walter Kaufmann. Dostoyevsky is often acknowledged by critics as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.
Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow, the second of seven children born to Mikhail and Maria Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky's father Mikhail was a retired military surgeon and a violent alcoholic, who had practised at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor in Moscow. The family lived in a small apartment in the hospital grounds, and it wasn't until he was 16 years old, that Dostoyevsky moved to St Petersburg to attend a Military Engineering Institute. The hospital was located in one of the city's worst areas; local landmarks included a cemetery for criminals, a lunatic asylum, and an orphanage for abandoned infants. This urban landscape made a lasting impression on the young Dostoyevsky, whose interest in and compassion for the poor, oppressed and tormented was apparent in his life and works. Although it was forbidden by his parents, Dostoyevsky liked to wander out to the hospital garden, where the patients sat to catch a glimpse of the sun. The young Dostoyevsky loved to spend time with these patients and listen to their stories.
There are many stories of Dostoyevsky's father's despotic treatment of his children. After returning home from work, he would take a nap while his children, ordered to keep absolutely silent, stood by their slumbering father in shifts and swatted the flies that came near his head. However, in the opinion of Joseph Frank, a biographer of Dostoyevsky, the father figure in The Brothers Karamazov is not based on Dostoyevsky's own father. Letters and personal accounts demonstrate that they did have a fairly loving relationship.
Dostoyevsky was made a lieutenant in 1842, and left the Engineering Academy the following year...

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The Idiot 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 53 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is NOT the Pevear-Volokonsky translation, as the cover claims.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say that this is a very interesting book. The in depth analysis of the main character (Prince Myshkin) kept me captivated for hours. I must say however that while reading this book it can be helpful to keep some sort of log of the characters. Because there is a multitude of characters and each of these characters has a full name, shortened name, and nickname things can get confusing. Also, there are many footnotes (this is understandable because of the book having been translated) which leave the reader constantly flipping around to read them. However, if you can triumph over these things, this is a truely wonderful book that explores an entirely fascinating subject.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Idiot is a book often assigned in schools, but rarely read because it sounds like a boring old 'classic.' Nothing could be further from the truth. Though The Brothers Karamazov and Crime & Punishment are more famous, The Idiot represents perhaps the purest expression of FMD's uncategorizable worldview. The title character is an epileptic (like the author) who is at once guileless and insightful. His candor and forgivingness sets him apart from society, making him an object of both fascination and resentment. Though a highly 'ideological' novel, it is also a soap opera, full of affaires, intrigues, and violent episodes. It's a page-turner you can re-read every few years.
Anonymous 4 days ago
She appears smiling and looks around
Anonymous 8 days ago
She walks in shyly, gazing around.
Anonymous 10 days ago
Anonymous 10 days ago
(Bio at super res 21) walks in
Anonymous 11 days ago
The new 16-year-old girl bounds in, giggling, her voice bubbly. Today she wore a pink spaghetti strap tank, black leather jacket, and tight blue skinnny jeans. On her feet were blue jelly flipflops. Her hair was straight, pink with black at the tips. She wore mascara, vanilla sparkly lip gloss, and diamond earrings. She looked around, eyes wide.
Anonymous 12 days ago
Heart thumping in her chest, Eva gathered up her nerves and walked to the front door. Bracing herself, she knocked on the door thrice, biting her lip and waiting.
Anonymous 12 days ago
The girl walks in. She looked around nervously.
Anonymous 12 days ago
*Walks in* H-hello?
Anonymous 15 days ago
Anonymous 15 days ago
His gaze caught the girl leaving and he followed her. This was not meant to be creapy, he was just wondering if she was ok. Plus he wanted someone to talk to. As he got closer he brought his hand from his pocket and tapped her shoulder.
Anonymous 16 days ago
-is here. Is dead-
Anonymous 16 days ago
The young girl shook back and forth in the dusty corner, her wings spread around her. "Help." She managed to squeak.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Blanche P. Nightengale walked into the hall, clutching a small suitcase. The tall, pale girl looked around at the other people. "Hello," she said with a particular Irish lilt. For some unknown reason, an owl perched on her shoulder.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Amber walks in excitedly.
Anonymous 18 days ago
The small, dirty boy stood at the front gates. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. A new start, if they were willing to have him here. He knew that when they learned about him, he would be kicked to the streets again. But he figured he could at least get a meal before that happened. "Okay, just keep to yourself... don't talk to nobody." The boy whispered to himself
Anonymous 18 days ago
When this place first assembled, l thought it was a secret society, so l kinda decided to lurk xD. Kms. Cx. I should have said something like <p> Boo.
Anonymous 18 days ago
She stands at the entrance of the Home For Peculiar Children, nervous if the people here are nice. Not like her old town, where everyone is mean to her. She swallows and reluctantly enters, dragging her black suitcase behind her and closes the door. She calls out, "Umm, hello? Anybody here?" Realizing saying this was a big mistake, she thinks of turning back and running away.
Anonymous 18 days ago
You here? -F
Anonymous 18 days ago
Hi people. When's the RP going to start?
Anonymous 20 days ago
Anonymous 20 days ago
((Hey! ^-^ l already told TM.))
Anonymous 20 days ago
*claps.* I'm impressed, Howly. I think this'll be a very good RP.