Night Waves - Landmarks: Dostoevsky's The Idiot
In a week of programmes devoted to the good life, Matthew Sweet has a Landmark edition examining The Idiot, Dostoyevsky's religious response to attaining a stable, joyful life.
From holy fools to fallen women, via scenes of high social drama in middle class drawing rooms, Dostoevsky's 'The Idiot' (1869) raises 'the good life' as an existential question that everybody must answer for themselves. Written whilst the author was on the run from his creditors, the novel has been read as both an over-the-top melodrama, and as a profound exploration of the ambiguity of goodness. It's also proved irresistible to directors, spawning adaptations for stage, cinema and TV. Matthew Sweet is joined by the theologian Giles Fraser, Russian specialist Sarah Young and the novelist Zinovy Zinik
Producer: Luke Mulhall.