Is the prince Myshkin really an idiot in this novel? Well,he actually seems very intelligent at times and more profound than the others.He notice therIs the prince Myshkin really an idiot in this novel? Well,he actually seems very intelligent at times and more profound than the others.He notice there's not only goodness in his fellow man,many in their comments say he doesn't realize at all when others deceive him but there at times when he realize.Then what? He doesn't want to put at his heart too much from what's evil at those who surround them,he prefers too much the good aspects, and just acts like the bad aspects can disappear if he acts like it's not there.He wants the world to be like him so he acts like it is. He's often to sincere whit others,yet he deceives himself.
The novel is structured as 4 books. After reading the 3rd and started reading the 4th one it seemed like the second reading of the book would end a disappointment. Nevertheless a very good book, with the 1st book being pretty much perfect; the 2nd book leaving a very powerful impression in the early chapters to then change to a subplot unrelated to the main story but at-least relevant in terms of character-study and strong enough on its own. The problem lies mainly with the 3rd book who for the most part is only subplot which barely has to do with any of the main characters. This really throws momentum out of the window. The 4th book had to be really fantastic -at least equal to the 1st. It's good enough, I said after reading from it around 100 pages, but doesn't seem to be up to the task.
So I started re-reading those almost 100 pages from it before letting reading take its normal course. So, the verdict? Worth it! Not only are Myshkin's monologoues and the chilling ending as good as I remembered, but all the lost momentum -regarding the main story of Nastasia, Myshkin and Rogojin- is gained back in its full, and from this it takes up a notch. I also had a problem with how much of the book felt like reading an older book -the chapters dealing with the Epancin family; why you do that? You are Dostoyevski. But even in this case, the latter chapters make up for it, because the style is so dark that the style of those chapters serves as a contrast, like you would like things to get back to how they were back then, but Dostoyevsky put his teeth in the story and doesn't let it go.
Now another look at the character: Myshkin -Some people take the character as if he's flawless, and even Dostoyesky wanted to make an ideal character yet seemed to have opted for gentle but troubled soul in the end -much better.There's something quite eccentric in his goodness -if that makes sense, and has quite a messiah complex. He feels passions strongly but doesn't quite understands his own soul that good when it comes to love. He does make mistakes who hurt other people, even tough he didn't have that intent. It's better to see him as a flawed character with good intentions.
Nevertheless, he's not the most interesting character. That's by far Nastasya Filipovna, a femme-fatale, but a very complex one. She's both an unpredictable schemer and a study of a self-destructive personality.
Other worth noticing characters are: Rogojin -Who's love for Nastasia is put in contrast with that of Myshkin. Like Nastasya, he mostly appears from behind the scenes in most of the book. Always carries with him the sense of danger, should have been played by Orson Wells -see his portrayal of Harry from "The Third Man". The relationship between him and Myshkin is a very peculiar one.
Aglaia -Reminds me of a girl I had a crush on in high-school. A charming personality but also quite a brat.
Lizaveta -Maybe the most interesting of the non-interesting characters due to her complexity, despite a lack of peculiar characteristics. Her character seems very much alive.
Ippolit -A character who doesn't have much to do with the story, nevertheless the author felt it's right to give him a very special treatment in the 3rd book. This obviously bothered me, but after finished the book, I'm glad for those wasted pages on him, because he's interesting enough on its own without any particular relation to the story.
It ended as briefly as it started.But gosh, how much did it contain in that brief space! I think that Kurosawa's movie, "Rashomon", is an excellent comIt ended as briefly as it started.But gosh, how much did it contain in that brief space! I think that Kurosawa's movie, "Rashomon", is an excellent completion. The young priest doubting humanity's good nature makes it more significant. It also makes the fact that the last testimony is said through a medium more reasonable in the context of the story, as there it doesn't matter that much what the viewer thinks about mediums, the fact the priest obviously believes in mediums is what really matters. As for the whole women being dishonored by being raped social stigma, I find it as primitive and appalling, but this story really makes you understand her position and why would she feel this way herself. This was a superbly written story like Kurosawa's directing was superb in the classic adaptation named "Rashomon"....more
The Adulterous Women -9/10 Very simple story but the beauty of description and depth of insight into the protagonist's thoughtsRated as I read along:
The Adulterous Women -9/10 Very simple story but the beauty of description and depth of insight into the protagonist's thoughts and feelings are what truly makes it more than it could have been.
The Renegade or a Confuse Spirit -9/10 The story of a mind gone astray due to the effects of torture, similar somewhat to "The Fall", a study of twisted logical justification but more intense, or with "Erostratus" by Sartre with the difference that the protagonist here can be symphatised with to a certain point. Has a fantasy feel to it without being such.
The Mutes -5/10 I don't get what was the point of this one.
The Guest -8/10 Similar to the previous one in the sense that it doesn't say much more than it's presented, but this one is for sure more interesting as far as characters and plot.
Jonas or the Artist at Work -10/10 Very heartfelt story about issues relating to the downside of popularity for a modest artist. It gave me a feeling similar to "The Metamorphosis" by Kafka despite this lacking any fantastical element. This story has warmth even tough I couldn't but fell sorry for its unassuming protagonist.
The Growing Stone -9/10 Essentialy a story about friendship. What fascinated me the most was the ritualistic dance scene. There's something about that peaceful catharsis which can't be found in our modern society. (view spoiler)[ About the ending, I wondered as many do, why didn't it followed to simple route of getting to stone to the church. My conclusion: Well, the cook wanted the most to keep his promise but he was too exhausted to do so. In a way, D'Arast didn't have a choice, if he had accomplished his friend's mission instead of him, it would have took his glory away. If he had let the stone where it was, the cook would have felt shame for only reaching thus far and possibly given up ever for ever with this task. Yet, acomplishing this task was very important for the cook so one-day he would have felt regret for giving up. As such, D'Arrast wanted to make sure that he would not renounce his dream, and by carrying the stone for him he showed his sincere solidarity in pursuing this dream next year. As the narrator say, D'Arrast felt the joy of life ready to start again. (hide spoiler)]
It should be noted that in 3 of these stories, the protagonist felt an overwhelming feeling of joy due to a sudden inner realization.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more