Ben's Reviews > The Idiot

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Apr 17, 09


The saddest of Dostoevsky's major novels.

Whether it is or isn't meant to be a Christ allegory, to read it in that light creates some very interesting juxtapositions. There certainly are many, many references to Christ all throughout the book.

I find very interesting the conjecture that if Christ returned in modern times (or the 1860's), he would get eaten alive, even by those who claimed to follow his teachings.

Although I guess Christ didn't fare too well in his own times, either.

I had been forewarned, by whom I can't recall, about a raving anti-Catholic "diatribe" at the end of the book, so I was waiting for it and expecting something vaguely offensive, in the vein of Dostoevsky's at times belittling treatment of Jews. But instead I found I quite enjoyed it--more than prejudice, it is a cutting appraisal of the finance- and power-based hierarchy of the bloated Catholic machine. And that was 150 years ago.

Maddening, hilarious, gut-wrenching by turns.

Fyodor Dostoevsky: still stickin' it to the man.
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