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Idiot, The

Idiot, The
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Translated with an introduction by David Magarshack. Through the "Idiot", the endearing, translucent, Christ-like figure of Prince Myshkin, Dostoyevsky's other characters, and readers as well, experience moments of total insight. "The Idiot's" central emotions and crises - the Prince's love for two women, Rogozhin's voracious desire for Nastasya Filippovna, her birthday party, the Prince and Rogozhin pursuing each other like ghosts through the streets of St Petersburg - are visualized with hallucinatory vividness and put across in dialogue that rages and blazes with life. In a plot that is virtually that of a thriller or a melodrama, Dostoyevsky proves himself the profound tragic dramatist of our most urgent longings and fears, bringing us face to face with the enigma of beauty, with spiritual compassion and sexual desire, and with human sickness and suffering. Writing under pressure of epilepsy as well as inspiration, Dostoyevsky was concerned that his view of Russian people and society might be found too incredible, too rich in improbabilities, coincidence and drama. And yet: "Is not my fantastic "Idiot" reality, and the most ordinary reality at that?" Softbound. 590 pp.
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