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Encyclopedia > The Idiot (novel)
The Idiot
Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of The Idiot
Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of The Idiot
Author Fyodor Dostoevsky
Original title Идиот[1]
Country Russia
Language Russian language
Genre(s) Novel
Publisher
Publication date 1869
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
ISBN NA
Preceded by The Gambler
Followed by The Possessed

The Idiot is a novel written by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky and first published in 1869. The original Russian title is Идиот,[1] "Idiot" (the Russian language does not use definite articles). This image is a book cover. ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, IPA: , sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, or Dostoevski  ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821–February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) was a Russian novelist and writer of fiction whose works, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have had a profound and lasting effect... For other uses, see Country (disambiguation). ... Russian ( , transliteration: , ) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... A publisher is a person or entity which engages in the act of publishing. ... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Hardcover books A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with cloth, heavy paper, or sometimes leather). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... “ISBN” redirects here. ... The Gambler is a novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky about a youngish tutor in the employment of a formerly wealthy Russian civil servant. ... For the theatrical adaptation by Albert Camus, see The Possessed (play). ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, IPA: , sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, or Dostoevski  ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821–February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) was a Russian novelist and writer of fiction whose works, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have had a profound and lasting effect... 1869 (MDCCCLXIX) is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Russian ( , transliteration: , ) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia and the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages. ...


Dostoevsky considered entitling the work Prince Myshkin.

Contents

Plot summary

Part I

Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin returns to Russia after a long absence. Myshkin suffers from epilepsy – just like Fyodor Dostoevsky himself – and is prone to blackouts and periods of apparent insanity. This has been treated with some success in Switzerland. The Myshkin family line is said to end with him and his cousin. Pevear and Volokhonsky translation of The Idiot The Idiot is a novel written by the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky in 1869. ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, IPA: , sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, or Dostoevski  ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821–February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) was a Russian novelist and writer of fiction whose works, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have had a profound and lasting effect...


On the train to Saint Petersburg, Myshkin meets and befriends the dark and impassioned Rogozhin. The latter tells the prince about his passion for Nastasya Filippovna, a beautiful woman with a bad reputation. Myshkin arrives at the house of General Yepantchin, who is married to the only other living member of the Myshkin line. Myshkin learns that Ganya, a young go-getter and secretary of the General, wants to marry Nastasya for her dowry. The prince feels an irresistible desire to meet her after hearing about her and even more so when he views a picture of her in the General's office. Saint Petersburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербу́рг, English transliteration: Sankt-Peterburg), colloquially known as Питер (transliterated Piter), formerly known as Leningrad (Ленингра́д, 1924–1991) and... Nastasya Filippovna is the principle heroine in Fyodor Dostoevskys novel The Idiot. ...


At Nastasya's name-day party, Myshkin sees Rogozhin arrive drunk and offer the young woman a large amount of money to follow him. The prince perceives the despair of Nastasya and proposes to her in order to save her from her situation. She, believing the prince's offer stems only from pity, flees with Rogozhin. The two men, formerly bound by friendship, become rivals. The first part ends here.


Part II, III, IV

Rogozhin even tries to kill his friend with a knife, but is hindered when, due to the stress of the situation, Myshkin falls into an epileptic seizure.


Over the course of the novel, Myshkin grows closer to the General's daughter, Aglaya, but he eventually gives her up to save Nastasya, culminating in a final meeting at Rogozhin's home where the young girl confronts the woman. Myshkin moves to leave with Aglaya, but stops when Nastasya questions the fact that he would leave with her and faints into his arms. He decides to marry Nastasya for fear she will return to Rogozhin and never live a healthy life. On the day of the marriage, however, Nastasya again flees with Rogozhin, who then kills her.


The novel ends with Myshkin and Rogozhin lying together by the body of Nastasya: Myshkin sinks into total insanity; Rogozhin is sentenced to labor in Siberia; and Aglaya rushes into an unhappy marriage with a man who claims to be a Polish count.


By making Myshkin a paragon of kindness and humility, Dostoyevsky shows what can happen when such a man is confronted by society. Myshkin frequently confronts society's norms with his "idiocy", which is merely his apparently naive approach to life. However, it is merely a search for truth in human relationships, he is not naive about what others say to him and about him, he merely assumes they're true because human beings should have no need for falsehood. The prince frequently faces various social turmoils throughout the novel, petty arguments and ridiculous assumptions. Unfortunately, the "idiot" cannot save himself from society and fails in the end.


Major themes

The novel was written in Florence, Italy.
The novel was written in Florence, Italy.

Dostoevsky's motives for writing The Idiot stem from his desire to depict the "positively good man". This man is naturally likened to Christ in many ways. Dostoevsky uses Myshkin's introduction to the Petersburg society as a way to contrast the nature of Russian society at the time and the isolation and innocence of this good man. This is highlighted by his conflicts and relationship with Rogozhin. Indeed, Myshkin and Rogozhin are contrasted from the outset. Myshkin is associated with light, Rogozhin with dark. For example, in their initial descriptions on the train, Myshkin is described as having light hair and blue eyes, while Rogozhin has "dark features". Rogozhin's house is submerged in darkness, with iron bars on the windows. He is not only an embodiment of darkness, but surrounded by it. The two characters are clearly antithetical. If Myshkin be seen as Christ, Rogozhin could easily be seen as the devil. Indeed, 'rog', in Russian, means horn, adding credence to such an assertion, although the primary association of his name is with rogozha ("bast"), possibly hinting at his humble origins. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2261x3391, 6274 KB) Summary A plate on the house where Dostojevski wrote the Idiot in Florence, Italy. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2261x3391, 6274 KB) Summary A plate on the house where Dostojevski wrote the Idiot in Florence, Italy. ... This page is about the title, office or what is known in Christian theology as the Divine Person. ... This is an overview of the Devil. ...


Despite their difference, they are both after Nastasya Filippovna – good and bad (and mediocre, in the image of Ganya) strive for the same thing. Love itself is shown in various manifestations, spurned by various motives. While vain Ganya wishes to marry Nastasya in order that he might, through acquisition of a large dowry, spark some of the individuality which he senses he lacks, Rogozhin loves Nastasya with a deep passion – a passion which eventually drives him to kill her. Myshkin, however, loves her out of pity, out of Christian love. This love for her supersedes even the romantic love he has for Aglaya. It is important to note that Aglaya developed a great appreciation for Myshkin's purity of heart and capacity for empathic love, even that he felt for Nastasya. Aglaya and her sisters came to identify Myshkin with the protagonist of a famous Russian poem, "The Poor Knight", because of the Prince's quixotic, tragic quest to defend the honor of Nastasya in the face of the ridicule, and at times contempt, he faced from all his acquaintances. And she grew to love him not in spite of this, but even more so because of it. At a gathering at the Prince's home that included her family and several of the Prince's friends, Aglaya enigmatically and ironically declares "There's nothing better than the Poor Knight!" Though she is partially mocking him, in the depths of her heart she means this fully. In the end, though, Aglaya cannot completely eradicate her jealousy of Nastasya, and cannot attain to the heights of the Prince's sympathetic love when he apparently scorns her in a final effort to save Nastasya. Nastasya Filippovna is the principle heroine in Fyodor Dostoevskys novel The Idiot. ... AgapÄ“ (IPA: or IPA: ) (Gk. ...


There is a parallel between Rogozhin and the Russian upper-class society. The materialistic society which praises the values Myshkin represents and professes itself to be "good", cannot accommodate Prince Myshkin; Rogozhin, though he truly loves Nastasya, commits murder in the end. Nastasya herself has been corrupted by a depraved society. Her beauty and initial innocence has led Totsky (perhaps the most repugnant of characters in the novel) to keep her as a concubine and she falls into a quasi-madness.


Film, TV or theatrical adaptations and references

  • Several filmmakers have produced adaptations of the novel, among them Akira Kurosawa with The Idiot, filmed in 1951.
  • The book is mentioned in the 2005 movie of Mel Brooks' The Producers. The character of Max Bialystock refers to Leo Bloom as "Prince Myshkin" following a semi-psychotic episode.
  • In the 2004 film The Machinist, directed by Brad Anderson and starring Christian Bale, Bale's insomniac character Trevor Reznik attempts to read The Idiot, in between delusions, blackouts and paranoic "revelations." The film is not an adaptation of The Idiot, but does explore many of the same themes of light, dark, madness and free will that appear in the specific novel as well as many of the overriding themes that appear in all of the works of Dostoevsky.
  • The Russian comedy Down House (2001) features a parody of the novel's plot.
  • The title of the movie The Jerk emerged after actor Steve Martin read Dostoevsky's The Idiot. Martin decided he wanted a similar title.
  • In an episode of the 2001 anime series Noir, Mireille Bouquet discusses The Idiot with her partner Kirika Yuumura. Mireille compares the man whom they'd been hired to kill with Prince Myshkin. The man has a cat named after the character in the novel.
  • The Kollywood director who directed the movie Chithiram Paesudhadi adopted the name of Myshkin in reference to the prime character in the novel.
  • Professional tennis player Janko Tipsarević has a tattoo reading "Beauty will save the world" in Japanese. This quote is from The Idiot.
  • The Idiot, Iggy Pop's first album without the band he founded, the Stooges, was based on the character Prince Myskin.

Kurosawa redirects here. ... The Idiot ) is a 1951 Japanese film by director Akira Kurosawa. ... Mel Brooks (born June 28, 1926) is an Academy Award-winning American director, writer, comedian, actor and producer best known as a creator of broad film farces and comedy parodies. ... The Producers is a 2005 film based on the 2001 Broadway musical of the same name, which is in turn based on the 1968 movie starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Andréas Voutsinas. ... The Idiot (ИДІОТЪ) is a costume drama TV series produced by Telekanal Rossiya in 2003 based on Fyodor Dostoevskys novel with the same title. ... The Machinist (also known as El Maquinista) is an English-language Spanish psychological thriller film that was released in 2004. ... Brad Anderson (born 1964 in Madison, Connecticut, USA) is a film director. ... Christian Charles Philip Bale (also known professionally as Christian Morgan Bale; born 30 January 1974) is a British[2][3] method actor who is known for his roles in the films American Psycho, Shaft, Equilibrium, The Machinist, Batman Begins and The Prestige, among others. ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, IPA: , sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, or Dostoevski  ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821–February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) was a Russian novelist and writer of fiction whose works, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, have had a profound and lasting effect... Down House (Russian:Даун Хаус) is a 2001 Russian is a comedy-gross-out film by Roman Kachanov and Ivan Okhlobystiin, a spoof parody on The Idiot novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. ... This article is about the American film. ... For other uses, see Steve Martin (disambiguation). ... “Animé” redirects here. ... Noir ), a 26-episode anime series from 2001, is a story of two young female assassins who embark together on a personal journey to seek answers about mysteries from their past. ... Binomial name Felis catus Linnaeus, 1758 Synonyms Felis lybica invalid junior synonym The cat (or domestic cat, house cat) is a small carnivorous mammal. ... Kollywood (Tamil : கோலிவூட் ) is a name often applied to the home of the Tamil-language film industry based in India, and to the industry as a whole. ... Andrzej Wajda, Warsaw (Poland), May 2006 Andrzej Wajda (born March 6, 1926 in SuwaÅ‚ki) is a Polish film director. ... This film was born of a theatrical production of Nastassya Filipovna, first staged in 1977 at the Stary Teatr in Cracow. ... The year 1994 in film involved some significant events. ... Janko Tipsarević (Cyrillic: Јанко Типсаревић, born on June 22, 1984 in Belgrade) is a Serbian tennis player. ... Nikolai Myaskovsky (ru: Николай Мясковский) (April 20, 1881 – August 8, 1950) was a Russian composer. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Balthazar ... Robert Bresson (French IPA: ) (September 25, 1901 – December 18, 1999) was a French film director known for his spiritual, ascetic style. ...

Translations to English

Since The Idiot was first published in Russian, there have been a number of translations to English over the years, including those by:

The Constance Garnett translation has for many years been accepted as the definitive English translation, but more recently it has come under criticism for being dated. The Garnett translation, however, still remains widely available because it is now in the public domain. Some writers, such as Anna Brailovsky have based their translations on Garnett's. Since the 1990s new English translations have appeared that have made the novel more accessible to English readers. The David McDuff and the Pevear & Volokhonsky translations in particular have been well received, while The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation (2000) states that the Alan Myers version is the best currently available. 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... Constance Garnett (née Black) (December 19, 1861 - December 17, 1946) was an English translator whose translations of nineteenth-century Russian classics first introduced them on a wide basis to the English public. ... Year 1913 (MCMXIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday[1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1955 (MCMLV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar). ... Year 1980 (MCMLXXX) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar). ... Alan Myers is a noted translator. ... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ... Richard Pevear is an American-born poet and translator who frequently collaborates with his wife, Larissa Volokhonsky, on translations of Russian novels. ... Larissa Volokhonsky is a Russian-born translator who frequently collaborates with her American-born husband, Richard Pevear, on translations of works mainly in Russian, but also French, Italian, and Greek. ... Also see: 2002 (number). ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Constance Garnett (née Black) (December 19, 1861 - December 17, 1946) was an English translator whose translations of nineteenth-century Russian classics first introduced them on a wide basis to the English public. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... For the band, see 1990s (band). ... Alan Myers is a noted translator. ...


Notes

  1. ^ a b Идіотъ in original, pre-1920's spelling
  2. ^ http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/84117/Au-Hasard-Balthazar/overview

External links

  • The Idiot; full text in English
  • The Idiot, available at Project Gutenberg.
  • Full text of The Idiot in Russian

  Results from FactBites:
 
Idiot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (979 words)
In modern English and other languages, idiot is also a derogatory term used to insult, usually meaning "You are stupid." For example, a group of drunks disturbing the peace could be referred to as "idiots." However, use of "idiot" to refer to people who are genuinely mentally retarded would generally be considered offensive.
In Fyodor Dostoevsky's novel The Idiot, the idiocy of the main character, Prince Myshkin, is attributed more to his honesty, trustfulness, kindness, and humility, than to a lack of intellectual ability.
"Idiot lights" was a pejorative term used in the 1960s and 1970s referring to the low oil pressure and alternator fault lights on an automobile dashboard.
The Idiot (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1180 words)
The Idiot is a novel written by the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky in 1869.
The novel ends with Myshkin and Rogozhin lying together by the body of Nastassya: Myshkin sinks into total insanity; Rogozhin is sentenced to labor in Siberia; and Aglaya rushes into an unhappy marriage.
The film is not an adaptation of The Idiot, but does explore many of the same themes of light, dark, madness and free-will that appear in the specific novel as well as many of the overriding themes that appear in all of the works of Dostoevsky.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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