Fyodor Dostoevsky, Idiot [The Idiot]

Derek Brower (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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The Idiot

] is at once one of Dostoevsky’s most compelling, confusing, difficult, and mystical novels, and arguably the work that was dearest to its author. “All those who have spoken of it as my best work,” wrote Dostoevsky in February 1877, “have something special in their mental formation that has always struck and pleased me.” Dostoevsky began work on

The Idiot

in the autumn of 1867. His letters and notebooks reveal the tortuous genesis of the novel. Published in serial form in 1868 in

Russkii vestnik


The Russian Messenger

], the novel embodies Dostoevsky’s most successful attempt to depict “the positively beautiful person” (

polozhitel’no prekrasnyi chelovek

). Thematically,

The Idiot

also subtly revisits the religious themes of social apocalypse and Russia’s…

3298 words

Citation: Brower, Derek. "Idiot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 06 May 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=554, accessed 22 June 2024.]

554 Idiot 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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