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The Idiot (Vintage Classics) Paperback – July 8, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, justly acclaimed for their translations of such Russian classics as Gogol's Dead Souls and Dostoyevski's The Brothers Karamazov, Crime and Punishment and Notes from Underground, have now undertaken another major Dostoyevski novel, The Idiot. Their trademark style fresh, crisp and faithful to the original (bumps and blemishes included) brings the story of nave, truth-telling Prince Myshkin to new life. As is true of their other translations of Dostoyevski, this will likely be the definitive edition for years to come. Intro. by Pevear.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Pevear and Volokhonsky’s translation of Crime and Punishment:
“Reaches as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as is possible in English. . . . The original’s force and frightening immediacy is captured. . . . The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation will become the standard English version.” –Chicago Tribune
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Top Customer Reviews
Next, Dostoevsky somehow makes one love each and every one of his characters. All of them are completely believable to me (albeit a bit over the top at times - aren't people like that too?) and it feels like my heart opens for each and every one of them (even the ones that are far less warm, fuzzy, likeable and honorable than I would like them to be) regardless of their sometimes seeming/sometimes blatant deficiencies. I feel a huge heart connection with this book that seems to allow me to better understand and feel compassion for these characters, thereby allowing me to extend this connection to my life and the people in it. It has auspiciously, perhaps even providentially, but most definitely gratefully, aroused a level and depth of compassion that I never knew existed in me.
Subsequently, as an extension of this compassionate heart connection, I am also feeling a tremendous connection with the concepts of honesty and integrity - what that means and how one might incorporate them into one's life. It has been a big awakening for me as I look at my own relationships and notice how even the slightest exaggeration, embellishment or untruth has a tendency to enter before I even realize it. It is definitely something I will continue to watch and it makes me wonder if anyone ever completely comes from a place of total honesty and truth. This place, this space consisting solely of purity and love, of unadulterated potentiality, of complete equanimity, is this what it means to live completely in the moment, to not be affected by beliefs, concepts or pre-programmed responses to incoming stimuli? Is this what it means to experience self-realization, as a totally honest response to all of what life presents one with, regardless of the illusory polarity of each incident? Can one feel and experience life’s full range of emotions without being attached to or influenced by one’s ideas of the “proper” and “appropriate” way to respond? Basically, can a person meet life in each moment with total honesty and truthfulness? I say yes, and I think that these qualities are what Dostoevsky is ultimately attempting to provoke in the reader. These are Christ-like qualities, Buddha-like qualities, and are the qualities that Prince Myshkin possesses throughout this book. Prince Myshkin is a representation of the ideal, of the beauty and innocence that is possible for each and every person in each and every moment. Is he an idiot for being this way, or is it people’s mistaken inability to understand the vast magnitude of his purity and love? If he does represent pure love then what ultimately makes them persecute him so? Fear? Jealousy? Pride? People seem to have a very strong tendency to resist what they do not understand… and this continues only until they do understand…and then… what’s left but to forgive them for they know not what they do.
Ultimately, I could go on and on with my praise for this masterpiece but my words would only pale in comparison to the actual experience of reading it. It is a book that could very well be read and reread yearly throughout one’s life with huge benefit.
To conclude, I absolutely love this book, highly recommend it and encourage all who have a desire to probe and explore its unbounded depths, to read it. It would be an effort more than worthy of the time and energy required to do so.
I may be biased, as I will explain. I am a retired police officer and spent the vast majority of my time as a criminal investigator. With that in mind, "Crime and Punishment" is far and away my favorite work by Dostoevsky. I enjoyed it thoroughly as a reading experience and felt the investigator in that book to be very sophisticated. I also preferred "Notes From The Underground" to this work. I have not as yet read "The Brothers Karamazov" at least within the last few decades, and I can't remember it. Thank You...
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