Rating: 5/5 nd 4/5
I read two short stories by one of my favorite authors Fyodor Dostoevsky.I chose The crocodile and The dream of a ridiculous man..First one I chose because of the story line that really didn't sound like Dostoevsky, the later I chose for its title..
The story really came as a surprise for me in the beginning..It is about Ivan Matveich ( I have always had problem with getting the names right, I'm not even sure if i'm spelling them right till the end) who is swallowed by a crocodile live at a public exhibition in St. Petersburg..He teases his way to get to this trap...He is accompanied by his wife Elena Ivanovna and a friend Semyon Semyonitch to the exhibition..The crocodile is being is touring all over the country run by a German couple...Ivan's wife make an appeal to the couple to cut the crocodile to rescue her husband while the couple demand a ransom in return...Elena is unable to make all that money while Ivan gets accustomed to his new environment comfortably , he even starts enjoying the attention he gathers by his new found place of life...On the contrary Elena begins to appreciate her freedom and life without Ivan...
Like I had mentioned earlier, I was quite taken aback by the plot initially, but then it dawned to me that it was a parody..Through Ivan's situation Dostyovaesky points at various social issues...The story is amazingly engaging, and very much enjoyable with its strange story-line and pace..Only a master story teller like Dostoevsky can put a strong and powerful message wrapped in a soft touch...He makes dig at the writers, newspaper and every socially responsible authorities who publicize the man inside a crocodile.. I would say it can come under the contemporary writing with a classic feel...The humour and wit are just perfect for a wonderful reading that makes you smile and think at the same time...
Loved this one and I would recommend to anyone who likes Russian writers and classic short stories..
The dream of a ridiculous man
The story is about a man who is questioning and debating upon his existence and life..I wouldn't that he is depressed but he is totally taken away by disturbing thoughts that takes a plunge to commit suicide..On his way he meets a gal in total tatters who comes for help for her dying mother..In spite of being aware of the complete state he shoos her away but then is filled with remorse later with himself .. This instinct of self loath doesn't let him shoot himself and he eventually falls asleep..The whole story is about the dream there after...A fantasy world something like an identical earth inhabited by very innocent people contrary to people around him..They are kind and love without any expectations, they are not overcome by jealousy or anger yet.. There he learns what is love and what is it to be loved , yet he depreciate the standard of living by injecting practicality, dividing them in the name of self improvement and degrades them by vengeful ego and concepts of jealousy and intolerance...The paradise transforms into a wrathful hell with all filthy semblance... But he wakes up as a transformed man for good..
The story is on a philosophical note, on man and his behavior that has to be in check time and again for a balanced character and life...He points out how a self centered man destroys a whole group without actually doing vile things to others around them...The right perception for life and social responsibility is the main theme of the story...I loved the theme and the inspiration it surrounds the reader with...This again will make up for a wonderful read if you are looking for a meaningful short story...