Friday, October 17, 2008
I read an article yesterday in the TLS about a new book about the role of religion in Dostoevsky's work titled Dostoevsky: Language, faith and fiction. Author and biogragpher, Rowan Williams, wrote that Prince Myshkin, from the Idiot, was a "‘good’ person who cannot avoid doing harm”. I had always read Myshkin as an innocent figure, Christ-like in his forgiving nature, that remains too good to be true. I had never thought of him as simply a 'good man who cannot avoid doing harm.' I wonder if I had read Myshkin as innocent and near perfect because I thought I was supposed to. Reading Williams quote makes me rethink my perception of one of my favorite literary characters. If I'm willing to rethink my strong opinion based on a single quote, I can only imagine what would happen if I read Williams's book on Dosty. It may be time to read my first critical work on Dostoevsky.