Reviews, opinions, recommendations and other literary ramblings.
Quote of the week:
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep." - William Shakespeare.
Saturday, August 10, 2013
A Nasty Anecdote by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Another one of Dostoevsky´s amusing short stories, A nasty Anecdote, takes
the reader to a particular night in the life of state councilor Ivan
Ilyich Pralinsky. This is a man of good reputation, whose self image is
that of a highly confident, educated and refined man, capable of showing
noble feelings whenever necessary and, most important of all, more than
adequate to keep up to the new “thoughts”.
a brief rendezvous with a couple of colleagues—and after several
glasses of champagne—he finds himself walking the streets of St.
Petersburg, deeply lost into thought, when he suddenly finds out that
one of his subordinates is celebrating his marriage.
Ilyich reckons that if he manages to win over the attendants and create
a good enough impression, the word will spread out and eventually his
popularity will allow him to become a great personage in the city´s
social pyramid. It is due to his extreme naiveté when it comes to
judging himself and his farfetched notion of reality that he dares enter
the party, catalyzing a whole set of events that more than exceed his
recurrent topic in Dostoevsky´s work is his indefatigable criticism of
Nihilism; the way the “new movement” created nothing but disorder and
mayhem in Russian society and how its followers where nothing but
walking contradictions, inconsequential in their thinking, reasoning and
way of living.
Nevertheless, in A Nasty Anecdote, the
subject to Dostoevsky´s harsh microscope is now one of the members of
the high class, whose exaggerated self confidence and distorted sense of
reality lead him to believe that he will be immediately accepted and
even worshiped by the new generation, but in the end, rather proves to
be nothing but a fool who “can´t hold out” to the impending social
again, we come upon a deftly created anecdote, whose style and swift
pace keep you riveted all the way through it. The events and
descriptions portrayed border on hilarity, making it a very unique
experience that should definitely not be missed.