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Inspired by an image of Christs suffering, Fyodor Dostoyevsky set out to portray "a truly beautiful soul" colliding with the brutal reality of contemporary society. Returning to St. Petersburg from a Swiss sanatorium, the gentle and naive Prince Myshkinknown as "the idiot"pays a visit to his distant relative General Yepanchin and proceeds to charm the General and his circle. But after becoming infatuated with the beautiful Nastasya Filippovna, Myshkin finds himself caught up in a love triangle and drawn into a web of blackmail, betrayal, and, ultimately, murder. This new translation by David McDuff is sensitive to the shifting registers of the original Russian, capturing the nervous, elliptic flow of the narrative for a new generation of readers.
About the Author
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (18211881), one of nineteenth- century Russias greatest novelists, spent four years in a convict prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. In later years his penchant for gambling sent him deeply into debt.
David McDuff has translated many works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevskys Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.
William Mills Todd III is a professor of Slavic languages at Harvard.
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