The Idiot, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot is a novel by the 19th-century Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky. It was first published in 1868–69.

The title is an ironic reference to the central character of the novel, Prince Myshkin. 

Dostoevsky set himself the task of depicting "the positively good and beautiful man". He is surrounded by people who mistakenly think of his kindness as a lack of intelligence. No surprise there. We need more good in our world. If we had more of it, we wouldn't see a good person as a weak person. 

Dostoevsky's primary motivation in writing the novel was to subject his own highest ideal, that of true Christian love, to the crucible of contemporary Russian society.

Joseph Frank describes The Idiot as "the most personal of all Dostoevsky's major works, the book in which he embodies his most intimate, cherished, and sacred convictions." It includes descriptions of some of his most intense personal ordeals, such as epilepsy and mock execution and explores moral, spiritual and philosophical themes consequent upon them.