The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (1877) by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A captivating short story encapsulating a lot of Dostoyevsky’s specific Christian worldview.

Dostoyevsky pushes the fantastical elements here more than he usually does, to great effect. Some sections almost resound with science-fiction imagery, being read these days at least, but the theology and morality behind the story really are the driving forces.


The prose in this story (at least, the English translation by Ronald Meyer) is also more striking than usual, some very lovely turns of phrase here, particularly in the utopian section of the story.

It’s didactic to an extent, but not in a cloying way. It covers a character arc clearly informed by Dostoyevsky’s own beliefs, but I didn’t feel like the story was as much a call to action as an illustration of a worldview. Four revolvers, and an epiphany.

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