The Idiot is a novel by the 19th-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was first published serially in the journal The Russian Messenger in 1868-69.
The title is an ironic reference to the central character of the novel, Prince (Knyaz) Lev Nikolayevich Myshkin, a young man whose goodness, open-hearted simplicity and guilelessness lead many of the more worldly characters he encounters to mistakenly assume that he lacks intelligence and insight. In the character of Prince Myshkin, Dostoevsky set himself the task of depicting "the positively good and beautiful man." The novel examines the consequences of placing such a unique individual at the centre of the conflicts, desires, passions and egoism of worldly society, both for the man himself and for those with whom he becomes involved.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (11 November 1821 - 9 February 1881), sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher. Dostoevsky's literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmospheres of 19th-century Russia, and engage with a variety of philosophical and religious themes. His most acclaimed works include Crime and Punishment (1866), The Idiot (1869), Demons (1872), and The Brothers Karamazov (1880). Dostoevsky's body of work consists of 11 novels, three novellas, 17 short stories, and numerous other works. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest psychologists in world literature.
His 1864 novella Notes from Underground is considered to be one of the first works of existentialist literature.
Translated by Eva Martin