The Adolescent by Fyodor Dostoevsky

As a normal male kid, I hated Russian literature lessons in the school. I just couldn’t understand why people do what do in the books. After the explanation from the teacher it was clearer and I could follow the story.

Even then Dostoevsky was my favorite. May be because the book from the official program was so unlike others – it was filled with killers, prostitutes, rapists and suicides. Boys like this kind of stuff, aggression lets some of the internal pressure of the adolescence off.

Later when I started to be interested in how people operate, what drives them, I found that the actual field of knowledge is not that important. You can put a lot of disciplines in one like around people:

  • history – how people operated
  • management, psychology – how people are operating now
  • marketing – attempts to modulate future operations of people

Fiction novels normally don’t have a lot of information about the internal structure of the people. Either they’re full of action or describing the operations of just one person – the author.

But not Dostoevsky. It’s his characteristics – he delivers in his books enormous amount if information on the subject of people. ┬áVery often I can find typical examples of people around me in those books, written more that 100 years ago. Scene about students coming to demand their money from count Mishkin in Idiot – very typical behavior of any aggressive newbies on an Internet forum, also known as trolling.

Recently I’ve finished 4th of the most known 5 novels form Dostoevsky – The Adolescent. It’s not a very easy reading, which is only expected from a diary of 19-year old kid (well, 100 years ago he was actually a young man already). ┬áThe young man has very big problems in understanding how people around him operate (which is also very normal for 19 years old). Almost through the whole book he tries to understand, what adult people around them want and fails to build a structured model of their behaviour. Well, it’s just a kid after all, it’s clear from the name of the book.

The kid is also as bent as the soviet sickle, and as hard as the hammer that crosses it, which is also something to be expected. So may emotions, so many feelins, it makes me jelous. The positive part also is that the kid is not dead or mentally destroyed at the end of the book, like it normally happens with Dostoevsky heroes.

I recommend it to everybody.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.