Written close to the end of the great writer’s life, Fyodor Dostoevsky’s short story The Dream of a Ridiculous Man tells of a transformation of the heart and a journey from despair to joy: a joy that can be known by all through the experience of God that transcends a simply rational discourse. In this eye opening literary study, the title character and his spiritual metamorphosis are examined in depth in light of the ancient concept of Nous as it developed from the Greek philosophers to the Christian fathers. By comparing the “Ridiculous Man” to similar characters in Dostoevsky’s corpus, the author shows how an Orthodox Christian understanding of the Nous underpins Dostoevsky’s own anthropology and how his literary works in turn guide the reader toward a truer vision of humanity.
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