After spending several years in a sanatorium recovering from an illness that caused him to lose his memory and ability to reason, Prince Myshkin arrives in St Petersburg and is at once confronted with the stark realities of life in the Russian capital – from greed, murder and nihilism to passion, vanity and love. Mocked for his childlike naivety yet valued for his openness and understanding, Prince Myshkin finds himself entangled with two women in a position he cannot bring himself to resolve.
Dostoevsky, who wrote that in the character of Prince Myshkin he hoped to portray a “wholly virtuous man”, shows the workings of the human mind and our relationships with others in all their complex and contradictory nature. Populated by an unforgettable cast of characters, from the beautiful, self-destructive Nastasya Filippovna to the dangerously obsessed Rogozhin and the radical student Ippolit, The Idiot
is one of Dostoevsky’s most personal and intense works of fiction.
Read an excerpt from The Idiot
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