S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (러시아문화권연구소) 러시아연구 (Russian Studies) 러시아연구 Volume 12 Number 1/2 (2002)
도스또예프스끼의 『백치』에 나타난 미(美)의 주제
The Theme of Beauty in the i'IdiotJ of F. M. Dostoevsky
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 러시아연구소
- 러시아연구, Vol.12 No.2, pp. 103-128
- One of the most important themes, which Dostoevsky planned to discuss in the novel Wldiot~, was the theme of 'beauty'. This concept of beauty is not really matches the concept of usual physical or mental beauty. The 'beauty' for Dostoevsky is the revelation of the sum of all the purified human desires. That is, beauty for Dostoevsky is the thing which man can encounter at any moment when he is going to express his desires in the spirit of art. Myshkin in the Wldiot~ is the hero who expresses such a concept of Dostoevsky. His ideal is revealed in the fact that he searches beauty in everything around himself and that he dreams of the perfectness of the world on that basis. The most important thing in him is that he understands beauty on the human basis. He doesn't idealize beauty from the
viewpoint of an idealist who ignores the human world, but sees it as a kind of remedy which can heal and correct the world. So he is destined to be situated not on the metaphysical place but among the ordinary people who surround him.
His tragedy is that his desire to embrace this world can not be understood by the people in this novel. They are the beings who don't recognize that beauty exists in and around themselves and who, on the contrary, even destruct and deform the existing beauty around themselves. So the fate of Myshkin can be compared to that of Alesha in the Brothers Karamazov ~ who goes through the path of agony. Such an agonizing path is necessary for the hero of Dostoevsky because the ideal beauty of Dostoevsky can be accomplished only when man ponders on himself and others without pre judice. The title of this novel "idiot" implicates the intention of Dostoevsky who requires that we readers also read this novel from the purified point of view of Myshkin.