A Gentle Creature and Other Stories: White Nights; A Gentle Creature; The Dream of a Ridiculous Man (Oxford World's Classics)
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In these stories, Dostoevsky explores both the figure of the dreamer divorced from reality, and also his own ambiguous attitude toward utopianism, themes central to his great novels. In White Nights, the apparent idyll of the dreamer's romantic fantasies disguises profound loneliness and estrangement from "living life." A Gentle Creature and The Dream of a Ridiculous Man show how withdrawal from reality can end in spiritual desolation as well as moral indifference, and how, in Dostoevsky's view, the tragedy of the alienated individual can only be resolved by the rediscovery of a sense of compassion and responsibility toward other people.
No other edition brings together these specific stories--which are most interesting when read alongside one another--and the new translations capture all the power and lyricism of Dostoevsky's writing at its best.
About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
and took her time about getting round to: “Go to my bedroom, Nastenka, and fetch my abacus.” I jumped up at once, going quite red for some reason, and quite forgetting that I was still pinned to her; I didn’t think to unfasten myself quietly so that the lodger wouldn’t see—I tore myself away, disturbing granny’s chair. When I saw that the lodger now knew all about me, I blushed and stood there transfixed before bursting into tears—so painfully ashamed I could have died. Granny shouted: “Well,
I opened his door, he cried out on seeing me. He thought I was a ghost and rushed to get me a drink of water, because I could barely stand up. My heart was beating so fast that my head ached, and I couldn’t think clearly. When I did finally recover myself, I began by placing my bundle squarely on his bed, seated myself next to it, covered my face, and wept floods of tears. He seemed to understand everything in a flash and stood pale before me, his gaze so sad my heart fairly broke. ‘“Look”, he
Nastenka! …’ And we both laughed. ‘That’s enough now, that’s enough. But where do you live? I’ve gone and forgotten.’ ‘Near—sky Bridge. The Barannikov house.’ ‘That big building?’ ‘Yes, that’s the one.’ ‘Oh yes, I know it, it’s a fine place; still, you know, do be quick and move in with us …’ ‘Tomorrow it shall be, Nastenka, tomorrow; I owe a little there for the flat, but it’s all right… I get my salary soon …’ ‘And you know what, I might start giving lessons; I’ll study and then give
watching her. All of a sudden I saw that she had started moving towards me with the gun in her hands. I quickly closed my eyes and pretended to be fast asleep. She reached the bed and stood above me. I heard every sound; even though a deathly silence reigned, I could hear that silence. Now there came a spasmodic movement and suddenly I couldn’t help involuntarily opening my eyes. She was staring straight at me, directly into my eyes, and the revolver was already at my temple. Our eyes met, but
wholeness that I am unable to believe it cannot exist among men. So then, how can I go astray? I will deviate of course, more than once even, and will perhaps speak in the words of others, but not for long: the living image of what I have seen will always be with me and will always correct and guide me. Oh, I am fresh and alert, and I am on my way, for a thousand years if need be. You know, at first I wanted to conceal the fact that I corrupted them all, but that was a mistake—there’s my first