The Idiot  -     By: Fyodor Dostoevsky
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The Idiot

Penguin Classics / 2004 / Paperback

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Product Description

Returning to St. Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, the gentle and naive Prince Myshkin - known as 'the idiot' - pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General, his wife and his three daughters. But his life is thrown into turmoil when he chances on a photograph of the beautiful Natasya Filippovna. Utterly infatuated with her, he soon finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal and, finally, murder. Through Prince Myshkin, Dostoyevsky sets out to portray the purity of "a truly beautiful soul" and to explore the perils that innocence and goodness face in a corrupt world.
David McDuff's new translation brilliantly captures the novel's idiosyncratic and dream-like language and the nervous, elliptic flow of the narrative. This edition also includes a new introduction by William Mills Todd III, which is a fascinating examination of the pressures on Dostoyevsky as he wrote the story of his Christ-like hero.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 2004
ISBN: 014044792X
ISBN-13: 9780140447927
UPC: 051488012009
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

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Publisher's Description

Inspired by an image of Christ's suffering, Fyodor Dostoyevsky set out to portray "a truly beautiful soul" colliding with the brutal reality of contemporary society. Returning to St. Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, the gentle and naive Prince Myshkin—known as "the idiot"—pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General and his circle. But after becoming infatuated with the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna, Myshkin finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal, and, ultimately, murder. This new translation by David McDuff is sensitive to the shifting registers of the original Russian, capturing the nervous, elliptic flow of the narrative for a new generation of readers.
 

Author Bio

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), one of nineteenth-century Russia’s greatest novelists, spent four years in a convict prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. In later years his penchant for gambling sent him deeply into debt. Most of his important works were written after 1864, including Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov, all available from Penguin Classics.


David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.


William Mills Todd III is a professor of Slavic languages at Harvard.

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