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The Insulted and Injured by Fyodor M.…
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The Insulted and Injured (1861)

by Fyodor M. Dostoevsky

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English (7)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
A bit soap-opera-ish, with a touch of Dickens. Worth a read none-the-less.

The narrator, Vanya, is a novelist in the mold of the author. One of his critics says that his books border on mawkish, and are stained by Vanya's sweat and tears, who works with such febrile intensity to complete them (always under the pressure of a deadline). This weakness is apparent in Dostoevsky's characterizations as well, as nearly everyone in this novel is in a near constant state of delirious emotional upheaval, convulsing (often literally) after every confrontation, as the narrator rushes from one scene to the next with no respite even in dreams. It is easy, not to mention disconcerting, to imagine Dostoevsky on the verge of a nervous attack, in hot-pursuit with his pen as he feels all the emotions as he describes them. It is impossible to sustain a climax for hundreds of pages, so this intensity undermines the arc of the story as the reader habituates to the style, and any revelations only have the force of added melodrama when they emerge.

Each character is again an exaggerated "type," although they are more involving and believable than in Dostoevsky's prior work, and seem based in part on his experience of individuals he knew in reality.

There are hints of Dostoevsky's full powers at work here, though obscured by over-use of certain techniques and under-maturation of his literary/philosophical themes. ( )
  augustgarage | Sep 26, 2017 |
Κλασσικό ( )
  varsa | Feb 28, 2016 |
This book was published in 1861, following Dostoevsky’s imprisonment in Siberia, but before his major novels (starting with Crime and Punishment in 1866). It’s interesting to see the mature Dostoevsky taking shape here, and the influence of Dickens in the character of the little orphan girl Nellie and the seamy underbelly of St. Petersburg. The novel has several fantastic characters, and moments of absolute brilliance, in particular those involving the evil Prince Valkovsky. There is also giving up love in self-sacrifice, touching parental devotion, and even occasional humor in drunken ramblings.

I liked how there were instances of the aristocracy who are evil, immoral or weak, but also others who are good and altruistic – and the same being true of the poor characters. There is a mix of people in each class. However, the main message of his story is that there are times when being insulted demands forgiveness, and it’s foolish to remain stubborn and estranged, and there are also times when being insulted demands sticking to one’s principles, and not compromising them even if one is bribed to do so.

I have to say Dostoevksy gets a little melodramatic at times in this story (there is a lot of sobbing, folks), the parallel and converging story of the insulted/injured is a little contrived, and the action bogs down at times in one character rushing off from one to another. However, some of these shortcomings I chalk up to 19th century literature, and to his credit, Dostoevsky does not sugar-coat the fact that evil sometimes ‘gets away with it’, and wins. He knew first-hand that it’s a tough world, and this is certainly worth reading if you’re a fan of his. ( )
2 vote gbill | Jul 9, 2015 |
Not as intellectually challenging as Dostoyevsky's other novels, but one which still carries his strong characterization. Sociopathy and romance and a love quandrangle. ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this novel. Dostoevsky's characters were engaging, if melodramatic. I didn't want to put the book down! What would happen to little Nellie? Would Alyosha pick Natasha or Katya? Would the prince get what was coming to him? You'll have to read it to find out. The major theme was identified in the title, "The Insulted and Humiliated". Dostoevsky points out the cruel behavior of the aristocracy towards the "common" person, and Dostoevsky favors the ability of the downtrodden to maintain their dignity by living by their principals, and relying on true love and loyalty. The issue of forgiveness is also addressed, and the author provides several examples of forgiveness and lack thereof, and the consequences of those choices. Wonderful read! ( )
  hemlokgang | Sep 8, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (56 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dostoevsky, Fyodor M.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Avsey, IgnatTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Last year, on the evening of March 22, I had a very strange adventure.
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In certe nature, dai sentimenti teneri e delicati, c'è talora una specie di caparbietà, una pudica riluttanza ad aprirsi e a manifestare, anche all'essere amato, il proprio affetto non solo davanti alla gente ma perfino e forse soprattutto a quattr'occhi: solo di rado prorompe in loro una tenerezza, tanto più ardente, tanto più impetuosa quanto più a lungo trattenuta.
Sì, il vecchio aveva ragione; Nelly era stata offesa, la sua ferita non aveva potuto rimarginarsi e pareva che cercasse a bella posta di esacerbarla con i suoi misteri e con la diffidenza nei riguardi di noi tutti; quasi godesse del suo dolore, di quell'«egoismo della sofferenza», se così si può dire.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 184749045X, Paperback)

Oscar Wilde claimed that Humiliated and Insulted is "not at all inferior to the other great masterpieces," and Friedrich Nietzsche is said to have wept over it. Its construction is that of an intricate detective novel, and the reader is plunged into a world of moral degradation, childhood trauma, and, above all, unrequited love and irreconcilable relationships. Found at the center of the story are a young struggling author, an orphaned teenager, and a depraved aristocrat who not only foreshadows the great figures of evil in Dostoevsky's later fiction, but is a powerful and original presence in his own right.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:15 -0400)

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The story is narrated by a young author, Vanya, who has just released his first novel. It bears an obvious resemblance to Dostoyevsky's own first novel, Poor Folk. Vanya's close friend and former love object, Natasha runs away with prince Alexey, son of Prince Valkovsky, who hopes to gain financially by marrying Alexey off to an heiress, Katya. Meantime we meet another young girl Nellie, whom Vanya saves from an abusive household by taking her into his apartment. Nellie's story is one of Dostoyevsky's most moving creations which inspired Japanese director Akira Kurosawa to produce an adaptation film, Red Beard.… (more)

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