Monday, February 07, 2005

The Idiot

First of all, this post isn't about George W. Bush...

Now that I have the cheap-shot out of the way, what I want to write about is Dostoevsky's novel. I just finished reading The Idiot last night so I figured I write up some thoughts here. First of all, one of the things I want to mention about Dostoevsky generally is that he gets a bum rap for being really depressing and dark all the time. When Belle & Sebastian sing "I'm not as sad as Dostoevsky" I think they are being tongue-in-cheek, but nonetheless, the Dostoevsky of the popular imagination is a very sad fellow indeed. I don't think however, that this does justice to Dostoevsky's prose. His writing full of spastic bursts of comedy and absurdity. You have Kirillov's bizarre manner of speaking in Demons, the comically absurd Polish gentlemen in The Brothers Karamazov, and in The Idiot there's the whole character of Lebedev who I found to be constantly humourous. For an author whose books usually seem to end with suicide, murder, or exile Dostoevsky is full of remarkable comedy.