The Idiot | Granta

  • Published: 01/08/2003
  • ISBN: 9781862075931
  • 130x20mm
  • 640 pages

The Idiot

F.M. Dostoevsky

Translated by Larissa Volokhonsky, Richard Pevear

Just two weeks after completing Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky produced a second novel with a very different man at its centre. In The Idiot, the saintly Prince Myshkin returns to Russia from a Swiss sanitorium and finds himself a stranger in a society obsessed with wealth, power and sexual conquest. He soon becomes entangled in a love triangle with a notorious kept woman, Nastasya, and a beautiful young girl, Aglaya. Extortion and scandal escalate to murder, as Dostoevsky’s ‘positively beautiful man’ clashes with the emptiness of a society that cannot accommodate his innocence and moral idealism.

The Idiot is both a powerful indictment of that society and a rich and gripping masterpiece. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky’s new translation – fresh, crisp and faithful to the original (bumps and blemishes included) – brings the story of Prince Myshkin to new life. As is true of their previous translations of the works Dostoevsky and Gogol, this will be the definitive edition of The Idiot for years to come.

The Author

Born in Moscow, Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-81) was the author of such classics as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov. Together, Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky have translated Dostoevsky’s Dead Souls, Crime and Punishment, Notes from Underground, Demons and The Brothers Karamazov, for which they were awarded the PEN Book of the Month Club Translation Prize. Their translation of The Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol is also published by Granta Books.

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