The Idiot lecture 2

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We take up this evening our second chance at under-standingâ not simply Dostoevskyâ s enigmatic princeâ but his intention in the novel The Idiot. For to ascertain the inner purpose of the work is oneâ s first task in doing any serious readingâ and we have to remind ourselves over and over again that comprehending the â actionâ of the work is of primary importance. Shakespeare did not write Hamlet just to give us a portrait of the much-discussed prince of Denmark. He wrote it because it embodied an action: as C. S. Lewis wrote, Hamlet finds himself in a situation that analogically we all face at different times in our livesâ and that is what gives power to the playâ and itâ s what we mean at UD when we defend the â universalâ aspect of literature. It shows us by analogy something about ourselves and the world we live in. In the serious literary works we confront something in ourselves that we hadnâ t seen before.

Arts and Humanities, Russian Literature, Russian Novel, Dostoevsky, Lecture, The Idiot