Fyodor Dostoevsky, Son smeshnogo cheloveka [The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, The Dream of a Strange Man]

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The protagonist of

The Dream of a Ridiculous

[occasionally “Funny” or “Comic”]


is a figure not unfamiliar from some of Dostoevsky's earlier writings – “a modern Russian progressive and a despicable citizen of Petersburg” (p. 729), and, to boot, “a ridiculous figure” and “an utterly absurd person” (717). This realisation leads him eventually to decide upon suicide, as the only escape from meaninglessness. Close to the time determined, he is saved by the intervention on the street of a frightened eight-year-old girl, whom he shouts at and fails to help. Partly from the shame of this incident, on returning home he fails to pull the trigger, and falls asleep. In the ensuing dream, he does shoot himself. Following the darkness and the damp of the grave, he finds…

1428 words

Citation: Cornwell, Neil. "Son smeshnogo cheloveka". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 26 February 2007 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=21627, accessed 22 June 2024.]

21627 Son smeshnogo cheloveka 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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