The Idiot by Dostoevsky discussion

The Idiot Resources

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message 1: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Marks (tracymar) | 127 comments Mod
Recommended books, web sites etc. on the Idiot. Please note if you are aware of spoilers or lack of spoilers on any website links you post.

message 2: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Marks (tracymar) | 127 comments Mod
At Googlebooks website there are ebook previews of some of the editions of The Idiot. The P&V book clearly indicates that there are spoilers in the posted introduction. But I read the excellent McDuff introduction there, which doesn't have spoilers which in my opinion at least are likely to ruin the reading experience for those who don't know the story.

(For those of you not familiar with googlebooks, the previews there don't reveal all of a book - nor can you save or print what you read there. But the whole McDuff intro is readable there).

message 3: by Tracy (last edited Dec 25, 2017 01:35PM) (new)

Tracy Marks (tracymar) | 127 comments Mod
While I've been watching the Russian mini-series, I've used these sites as reference (the analyses segments have sometimes been helpful). They also have lists of characters (but be careful - some of character descriptions have spoilers)

The Idiot Spark Notes

The Idiot Cliff Notes

Middlebury College Study Guide

The last link above has a page on The Making of the Idiot which discusses Dostoyevsky's process - he ended up with 8 different plans. His stenographer/wife saved all his planning notes which are actually now published in a book.

message 4: by Tracy (last edited Dec 26, 2017 12:27PM) (new)

Tracy Marks (tracymar) | 127 comments Mod
Wow! Another resource page - from college course on The Idiot with notes and discussion questions for each part! This could be useful for our discussion

message 5: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Marks (tracymar) | 127 comments Mod
I just got hold of The Notebooks for The Idiot - Dostoevsky's original notes and journals, saved by his secretary/wife, and edited by Edward Wasiolek. It looks absolutely fascinating, as it shows the evolution of Dostoevsky's somewhat tortuous thought process as he developed eight different plans for the book - the final plan in some ways almost the reverse of the first plan.

One review of the book says, "This is an invaluable aid to the understanding not only of the finished work of art, but also of Dostoyevsky's strangely tortured yet confident creative process." (Modern Fiction Studies).

The film made such a deep impression on me, since it raised issues that have been central to my own spiritual conflicts and values - placing so much emphasis upon being in touch with one's heart and expressing empathy and acceptance, and yet discovering that too much love, kindness, empathy and acceptance of another can sometimes be destructive to the other, and sometimes oneself as well. So what truly is goodness?

I am curious about the evolution of Dostoyevsky's thoughts which eventually led him to decide that his main character Mishkin would be - instead of a bad man attempting to be good - as beautiful a person internally as he could possibly create, a kind of Christ on earth.........But then, look what happened to Christ. Can human beings really tolerate saint-like figures?

Anyway, I know I'm doing almost all the posting now because I was so affected by the film, have a 3 week break between school terms right now, and love to do a lot research in preparation for a big read. But I will be posting less as of midJanuary and will look forward to hopefully a stimulating discussion and some diverse points of view.

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