The Idiot
By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

This novel revolves around an epileptic prince named Myshkin, who leaves a clinic in Switzerland to return home to Russia. I was living in England when I read this, at the end of the Cold War, and what I knew about Russia was its "otherness." Myshkin exists on compassion and emotion—he does appear the idiot. But there is something about his ability to forgive that I loved, that seemed to transcend the idea of "us" and "them."


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