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Monday, March 8, 2021

The Dream of a Ridiculous ManThe Dream of a Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To think that the depressive but oh-so-sensitive Dostoyevsky could have turned a short tale of a truly, truly ridiculous man who thinks incessantly of putting a bullet into his heart could ACTUALLY be one of the most uplifting or even OPTIMISTIC of his works!

I wish I was joking. Of course, this deep pathos is so similar to so many of his current themes, but by this point, it's more of a genre. Suicide as genre.

Only Dostoyevsky!

Moving beyond that, this short tale is actually an abbreviated description of what he'd like heaven to be, complete with spiritualism, mystical thoughts, and even an alien abduction, all explained away as a dream... ending with a kind of utopia. But hey! Dostoyevsky could never give is a straight utopia! He's a man of his genre, after all, and we must have a dire dose of despair, self-recrimination, and a forlorn cry that harangues all of humanity.

'If only we just loved our neighbors!' he cries. Everything would fall into place.

Truly, this short story is all heart, darkness and blemishes, and the wringing of one's hands toward the heavens.

Of course, it's Dostoyevsky, too, so it's actually entertaining. :)

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