White Nights: A Gentle Creature ; The Dream of a Ridiculous Man

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Oxford University Press, Jan 1, 1999 - Science - 132 pages
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In the stories in this volume Dostoevsky explores both the figure of the dreamer divorced from reality and also his own ambiguous attitude to utopianism, themes central to many of his great novels. In White Nights the apparent idyll of the dreamer's romantic fantasies disguises profound loneliness and estrangement from 'living life'. Despite his sentimental friendship with Nastenka, his final withdrawal into the world of the imagination anticipates the retreat into the 'underground' of many of Dostoevsky's later intellectual heroes. A Gentle Creature and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man show how such withdrawal from reality can end in spiritual desolation and moral indifference and how, in Dostoevsky's view, the tragedy of the alienated individual can be resolved only by the rediscovery of a sense of compassion and responsibility towards fellow human beings. This new translation captures the power and lyricism of Dostoevsky's writing, while the introduction examines the stories in relation to one another and to his novels.

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The way this short story begins and how it encapsulates the essence of a good innocent heart is just breath taking in its impact and simplicity...."May God make you wonder as often as possible". Indeed may God may make you wonder as to how so many wicked and whimsical people live under such a sky full with so many bright stars
Ali Bokhari

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About the author (1999)

Alan Myers is a freelance translator. W. J. Leatherbrow is Reader in Russian at Sheffield University. The same team worked on Dostoevsky's The Idiot in World's Classics.

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