‘The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky, Fyodor 1877

The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1877

The magic trick:

Turning one man’s conflict into a fantasy-adventure story about original sin 

Somewhere between Gogol and Gulliver’s Travels, we find Dostoyevsky exploring some kind of Christian fantasy fiction. The scope of the story is impressive. The narrator’s dream takes him to a different world – a Garden of Eden of sorts. The narrative never really seems to reach the mood of adventure and wonder that I wanted. It feels like a page-turner that could’ve been. As it is, though, the story still presents a lot of ideas in a short form. Huge ideas, too. Original sin, the meaning of life and the like. And that’s quite a trick on Dostoyevsky’s part.

The selection:

“But if this is the sun, if this is absolutely the same as our sun,” I cried out, “then where is the earth?” And my companion pointed to the little star that shone in the darkness with an emerald brilliance. We were rushing straight toward her.

“And are such replicas really possible in the universe, is that really the law of nature? …And if that is the earth there, is it really the same as our earth . . . absolutely the same, unfortunate, poor, but dear and eternally beloved, giving birth to the same tormenting love for herself even in her most ungrateful chil- dren?…” I cried out, shaking with irrepressible, rapturous love for that former native earth I had abandoned. The image of the poor little girl whom I had of- fended flashed before me.

“You will see all,” my companion replied, and some sadness sounded in his words.

READ THIS STORY ONLINE

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Advertisements

One Comment on “‘The Dream Of A Ridiculous Man’ by Fyodor Dostoyevsky”

  1. Jay says:

    I don’t know this story, but am glad to learn of it through you. I’m making a note of it for my future Deal Me In Challenge reading. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s