The Idiot (Russian: Идиот, Idiot) is a novel written by 19th century Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published serially in Russkiy Vestnik between 1868 and 1869. The Idiot is ranked beside some of Dostoevsky's other works as one of the most brilliant literary achievements of the "Golden Age" of Russian literature. It was not published in English until the 20th century.
Twenty-seven-year-old Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin returns to Russia after spending several years at a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by the society of St. Petersburgh for his idiocy (epilepsy) and being too generous and innocent, he finds himself at the centre of a struggle between a rich, kept woman and a gorgeous, virtuous girl who both wish to win his affection. Unfortunately, Myshkin's very goodness seems to bring disaster to all he meets, leading to a climax that tragically reveals how, in a world obsessed with money, power, and sexual conquest, a sanatorium is the only place for a saint.
Prince Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, a fair-haired young man in his late twenties and a descendant of one of the oldest Russian lines of nobility, arrives in St. Petersburg on a November morning. He has spent the...