‘The Plains’, Gerald Murnane

++++Crickets chirped intermittently from the obscure lawns.  Once, a plover raised its faint, frantic cry in some far paddock. 1

++++Beautiful . . . really wonderful aesthetic of which I can commiserate.

++++But the immense silence of the plains was scarcely disturbed. 2

++++Wow! nature is majestic yet modest.

++++The road to the estate was an off-shoot from a deserted side road whose signposts were sometimes vague and contradictory. 3

++++Icing on the cake! Meta-fiction forewarning of the authors fallibleness.

++++My patron’s home, of course, was somewhere on the other side of the gate but not within view.  The driveway that lead to it did not even point the way. 4

++++Okay. Well maybe the driveway was missing an index finger.

++++As I drove from the road I told myself I was disappearing into some invisible private world whose entrance was at the loneliest point on the plains. 5

++++Okay . . . let’s see . . . driving, driving, driving . . . down the driveway.

++++Now what remains for me to do? I am so close to the end of my quest that I can scarcely recall how it began. 6

++++Wait a minute is this driveway a quest?
++++‘Uh, yep.’ says an inner voice.
++++‘No’, I exclaim.
++++‘Yep.  The narrative is a farce, an absurdity.’, continues the voice.
++++Unable to comprehend the satire I fall off my chair, knock myself unconscious, and – as if mimicking an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ – awake to find myself in Australia. Gerald Murnane stands 20 or 30 ft. from me carrying a copy of ‘The Plains’; A copy adorned with bells and whistles, colorful ribbons, and glitter.
++++‘Welcome to New Zealand’, he says.

++++Sorry, couldn’t resist.

++++The Plains© by Gerald Murnane 1 is the monologic narrative of a young – at least at one point young – filmmakers record of an adventure to film Australia in ‘startling ways’, which is to say artistic but also somewhat pretentious ways. The working title of the film is ‘The Interior’ which refers to non-coastal Australia colloquially known among Australians as the plains, hence the title. In addition to the persona, patronage is involved in order to finance the film, surreal absurdity, and probably most important, a philosophic relativism .
++++Besides the persona are two fictional historic groups each different of outlook. They are the horizonites and the hareman. Both groups are composed of wealthy plainsmen and their associates. As far as I can tell, the groups wealth and divergent apprehensions echoes medieval European heraldry. Both groups have large homesteads – often referred to in the novel as ‘the great houses’.  (Similar as England’s House of Stuart or Germany’s House of Hesse, etc.). Pennants and emblems are made by the families or the families hired artists. Each house also has a wealth of servants, libraries – yes, plural libraries – and they, as patrons, can afford to subsidize clients. These heraldic paradigms are less depicting of wealth and its dynamics than they are depicting of mindsets or outlooks. It is difficult to ascribe these alternative philosophies – as they become manifest – to a specific one of the two groups, yet the philosophies permeate the narrative. The appellate of horizonite or hareman is generally speaking not necessary. The necessary aspect is a recognition of the alternative philosophies not the ascribing of these philosophies to the correct group.
++++One of the two outlooks emphasizes a romantic or naturalistic sense less fettered to a past:

++++Members of the group were challenged ,of course, to explain themselves. They replied by talking of the blue-green haze as though it was itself a land – a plain of the future, perhaps, where One might live a life that existed only in potentiality on the plains where poets and painters could do no more than write or paint. 7

++++The other is an outlook of pragmatic, materialist concerns which are not necessarily secure and thus need attending. The attending seems to account with the past.

++++He saw the countless objects in his home as a few visible points on some invisible graph of stupendous complexity. If his impression was unusually powerful he peered at the repeated motifs in a tapestry as though to read the story of a certain succession of days or years long before his time . . . 8

++++His group utterly rejected the supposed appeal of misty distances. 9

++++Philosophical relativism – not intentfully mentioned within the book – suffuses these opposing philosophies.  Here is a defining of cognitive relativism:

(1) The truth-value of any statement is always relative to some particular standpoint;

(2) No standpoint is metaphysically privileged over all others. 10

++++Here are a couple of examples of this relativism:

++++[Of a polo match] Central Plains always wore a certain shade of yellow when they rode out against the men representing the Outer Plains. In the official program the outer plains uniform was described as sea-green but the sea was 500 miles away. 11

++++For our narrator the truth value of the ‘sea’ of sea – green is suspect. This suspicion, however, is relative. You or I would probably recognize this duality of playing polo on ‘the plains’ yet wearing ‘sea-green’ colors as a simple characteristic of uniform design or coincidence or both. The narrator’s standpoint is important as to the statement’s truth value.
++++Another example is the ‘bar and stretcher scene’. 12
++++Our narrator is called to a meeting in a bar of a hotel.  Upon entering the bar the narrator’s ‘only shock’ came upon seeing, in a corner of the bar, a man laid out upon some canvas stretcher. The man was not ill or otherwise incapacitated.

++++The others sat erect on stools at the bar. 13

++++I can’t read this as humorously surreal without admitting a relevance apropos of the state of being passed out and drunk. One who might be passed out drunk might certainly be stretched out upon a bar floor. Here, though, we have a related position of a person stretched out upon a stretcher upon a bar floor, yet, the person so positioned is not in any way incapacitated.  Although it’s a funny scene a serious import arises by virtue of relativism.
++++A drunk passed out on a barroom floor being the referent is contrasted by the details of this coherent person stretched out supine, relaxing upon a stretcher. Without the relativism the scene might very well have not been imaginable. Also, stare decisis – a legal concept of precedential fact and present actions – seems applied to this socio-cultural situation. The precedent – if you will – of passed out drunk invokes the supine, resting stretcher as being a germane present relational to the precedent.
++++The driveway/quest quoted above, is another, though different example of this relativism. Here is the quote without my interference:

++++As I drove in from the road I told myself I was disappearing into some invisible private world whose entrance was at the loneliest point on the plains.
++++Now what remains for me to do? I am so close to the end of my quest that I can scarcely recall how it began. 14

++++The driveway and the quest are juxtaposed with one another. As for the narrator the juxtaposition seems to escape him, for the author the juxtaposition is essential, for the reader . . . well . . . the truth value will vary with the reader. None of these standpoints whether the narrator’s, the author’s, or any reader’s is ‘privileged over all others’.  Any one of these explanations – standpoints – of the trip, or any other explanation, is no more or less privileged than any other rationale.  Relativism.
++++I mentioned the concept of stare decisis. It is relevant in understanding an otherwise absurd condition. Take for example near the end of the novella. 15
++++Various families or community or groups – again an appellation is not really necessary and may detract from an inchoate quality – invites the narrator along as they take one of ‘elaborate day long expeditions of families to nameless sites in far corners of their lands.’  They travel in multiple vehicles, set out tents, drink – or are already drunk as they arrive – and generally do seemingly nothing. ( Okay, they chat, form groups of which to take photographs, maybe some other stuff, I don’t know; Murnane can be very comfortable with the inchoate narrative.) The seemingly purposeless folly hearkens to both relativism and a socio-cultural stare decisis.  We can’t be sure of the standpoint.
+++ They – either the horizonites or hareman – might be getting back to nature. But the drinking and photographing, not of nature but of group members and their activities, belies a supposed getting back to nature. Maybe the photographing is an artistic attempt despite it not being of nature or the plains.  Maybe, they preferred to do this field trip instead of  going to a bar.  Relativism.
++++As to socio-cultural stare decisis, I construe an apparent present day pragmatic relation with an ancestral pioneering. The trip recalls earlier pioneers unknown but likely dynamics of leaving outer Australia before settling the communities from which the present group left upon making this excursion. The present group enacts a dissimilar provisional compared with the original pioneers. The original provisional no doubt necessitated serious concerns of food and shelter, etc. – the provisional. The current group in their significantly less burdened state enacts a provisional of drinking to excess. As well, a pioneering interpersonal would have been more serious-minded, again because of being more burdened. The present day group does much of nothing but chat along with the drinking. An interpersonal which is necessarily common to both the pioneers of these plains and the excursion group is made similar but not exact – in keeping with socio-cultural stare decisis of similar to precedent.
++++Thus, today’s descendants of these pioneers – whether biologic descendants or communal descendants – proceed similarly though differently. Both groups irrupt onto the plains in slightly different ways; Nature is kind of disregarded. The socio-cultural, generational concern adhering of the importance of man-made constructions and an attendant continuity is  analogous with stare decisis.  This group trip in all its presentness, preserves an inter-generational group relation.
++++Nonetheless, this particular mindset is only one of two. A concern for nature and the individual – as the narrator seems to have – is the other philosophy, even if it is not part of this particular excursion.
++++So, a seemingly purposeless folly of this excursion seems purposeless only related to the standpoint.
++++The narrator is both genuflectively profound:

++++One of the chief attractions of these remarkable conjectures is that no one is able to use them to alter his understanding of his own life. 16

and possessed of a self-deceiving folly:

++++II am preparing a work of art to show what I and no other could have seen. 17

++++The Plains© was first published in 1982. The viewpoint can seem overwhelmingly occidental and male in this era of contemporary cultural studies.
++++A lot of novels can seem amorphous, unsynthesized. They seem to mistake vagueness for eclecticism or open-mindedness.  Although The Plains© may be synthesized difficultly – that is requiring multiple readings – its focused, novella form seems receptive to a singularness of which other works are not so welcome. Even still, it seems wonderfully multifaceted.
++++I really enjoyed The Plains©.  It is an arcane, post-modernist waltz. It seems more like a  scintillate diamond than a paper and ink production.

++++I too have admired the tortuous arguments and detailed elaborations, the pointing -up of tenuous links and faint reverberations, and the final triumphant demonstrations that  something of a motif has persisted through an immense body of digressive and even imprecise prose. 18

1 The Plains, Gerald Murnane, ©2003, New Issues Poetry and Prose, Kalamazoo, MI., USA in association with Text Publishing Co., Melbourne, Australia, pg. 62
2 Ibid, pg. 62
3 Ibid
4 Ibid
5 Ibid
6 Ibid
7 Ibid, pg. 27
8 Ibid pg. 23
9 Ibid, pg. 29
10 https://www.iep.utm.edu/cog-rel/
11. The Plains, Gerald Murnane, ©2003, New Issues Poetry and Prose, Kalamazoo, MI., USA in association with Text Publishing Co., Melbourne , Australia, pg. 31
12 Ibid, pg.43- 44
13 Ibid pg. 44
14 Ibid, pg. 62
15 Ibid, pg. 98- 105
16 Ibid, pg. 74
17 Ibid, pg. 74
18 Ibid, pg. 73

Other Consulted Material

https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/a-strange-australian-masterpiece
http://www.full-stop.net/2017/07/06/reviews/william-harris/the-plains-gerald-murnane/
https://www.dalkeyarchive.com/reading-gerald-murnane/
https://medium.com/@blairmahoney/another-world-in-this-one-encountering-gerald-murnane-in-goroke-3c7ae2a51fbb
https://theconversation.com/the-case-for-gerald-murnanes-the-plains-26797

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Briefly

‘How Immoral are Laissez Faire Ideologues? Ask about Drones.’

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2018/12/how-immoral-are-laissez-faire-ideologues-ask-about-drones.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+neweconomicperspectives%2FyMfv+%28New+Economic+Perspectives%29

++++I believe President Trump is fundamentally a laissez-faire capitalist.  The dakota pipeline, the keystone pipeline, deregulation – in particular, environmental deregulation – large tax cuts for corp.s, etc. evidence such characterization.
++++As far as I can tell, laissez-faire economics is fraudulent as social; Laissez-faire capitalism co-opts an aura of social. Individual economic felicity is the essence of laissez-faire economics. Keynes ‘animal spirits’ is the force behind laissez-faire economics.  Contractual labor dynamics – which I see as  an outcome of laissez-faire economics, a residue not a subpart of economics – doesn’t require the same individual economic felicity, the same ‘animal spirits’.  Labor dynamics are, generally, contractual and expedient.

Humbleness Astray

‘Missionary Martyrs: Are We Paying Too High a Price to Evangelize the World?’

https://centralseminary.edu/missionary-martyrs-are-we-paying-too-high-a-price-to-evangelize-the-world/

++++Here is a bullet list of considerations regarding this article;

  • “. . . their forced isolation on the part of the Indian government . . .”  – Such language rubberstamps the Indian govt. as martinet, yet the ‘missionaries’ – as they are not-so-quaintly honored – are never similarly martinet in evangelizing.
  • ” . . . no plans, according to reports, for murder charges to be laid, . . .” – Once again the actus reus is placed upon the indigenous beingness rather than interloping, evangelizing.
  • “. . . faint-hearted Christians . . .”  – I’m supposing Mr. Chau’s adventure was stalwart rather than ‘faint-hearted’.  The Sentinelese, likewise, in defending themselves can be deemed stalwart rather than faint-hearted; Of course, in defending themselves, the Sentinelese are also rather ‘murderous’ than stalwart.
  • “Much should be made of their dedication to Christ . . .” – And of the dedication of the Sentinelese to an inalienable?
  • “They certainly aren’t the first missionaries to perish in gospel advance, . . ” – One person’s ‘advance’ is, for another, ‘trampling’.

++++Finally, aren’t modern evangelical engagements with an autochthonic analogous to modern dispensation engaging anterior dispensations?  Aren’t such dispensational relations convoluted? [Note:  Here I’m referring – with only superficial knowledge – to dispensational theology.]
++++Like most people, I’m dismayed by Mr. Chau’s sorrowful death.  Nonetheless, I feel the primitive Sentinelese response is not only understandable but entirely justified. Which Occidental enlightenment has proven infallible?  Are we to believe a wary defensiveness is perpetrative?  Who – on earth – is to say that an autochthonic isn’t redeemable?

‘The Enlightenment’s Retrogression’ or ‘Factional Semantics Supplants Political Rhetoric (Worse Things Have Happened)’ or ‘How I Learned to Love the Trumpian Tide’

https://solitarywatch.org/2018/10/07/seven-days-in-solitary-10718/

• Without warning or announcement, the Trump administration has changed the content and language of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) website, including the agency’s vision statement, which used to say the U.S. aims to be “a nation where our children are healthy, educated, and free from violence” and now describes “a nation where our children are free from crime and violence,” invoking an undertone of fear over rehabilitation and dignity. The Guardian reported that an OJJDP page titled “Eliminating solitary confinement for youth,” which called for an end to the use of solitary for children, has been entirely eliminated, as has the page “Girls and the Juvenile Justice System,” which provided data and guidance for young women on how to navigate the criminal justice system. Additionally, the OJJDP has terminated research projects aimed at addressing the disproportionate incarceration of people of color.

 

‘The Idiot’, Fyodor Dostoevsky

++++Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Idiot 1 extends to 700 pages of literary assemblage which seems a Russian mimicry of Victorian literature.
++++In the midst of reading The Idiot, I thought a bourgoise-proletariat binary was an important facet of the book, however, I currently believe the work’s important elements are – in addition to the Victorian appropriation – a Russian emulousness of western European mores and lifestyle and, lastly, a vituperative – actually something more like character assassination – martial satirizing of Napoleon Bonaparte. These disparate facets are united by an overarching nationalism which, resultantly defines The Idiot as ‘nationalist literature’. The phrase ‘nationalist literature’ is rather oxymoronic.
++++Before I get into these facets of the work , here is evidence logic and fiction don’t always mix well. Following is a conclusory thought and evidence supporting the thought.

++++‘But it is well known that a man carried away by passion, . . . is quite blind, and prone to find grounds for hope where there are none; what’s more he loses his judgement and acts like a foolish child, however great an intellect he may have.’2

This quote occurs early in the work. It is something of a dictum. As such it has a wisdom associated with logic, yet is part of a fictive narration.  I suppose anything can be done with such a maxim, or almost anything. One thing which, it seems to me, can’t be done is to prove the maxim with fictional evidence. Fictional evidence is necessarily not factual but rigged, albeit for subjective reasons. Thus, the fictive as evidence confutes any sense of confirmable. One can portray the maxim subjectively, or one can prove the maxim with factual evidence, but I don’t believe the maxim can be ‘evidenced’ by a subsequent fictive representation.

++++‘But by now he Myshkin, [the ostensible ‘Idiot’ of the title] could understand no questions he was asked and did not recognize the people surrounding him . . . if Schneider himself had come from Switzerland to look at his former pupil and patient . . . he would have said as he did then, ‘An idiot!’ 3

This quote happens at the very end of The idiot. It details a suffering of Myshkin the title character. It serves as ‘evidence’ supporting the dictum of the first quote.
++++It seems to me inane that a piece of wisdom could be evidenced by an imagined fictive. Such evidencing requires – really, DEMANDS – something less ‘made up’. Myshkin’s suffering – which is not an execrable fiction – is execrable as evidence. Myshkin doesn’t exist, Dr. Schneider doesn’t exist, and thus evidence of ‘a man carried away by passion’ doesn’t exist.  The relation between these 2 quotes is something like a self-fulfilling fallacy; The second quote ‘proves’ the first. Had the quotes been reversed , a case of inductive authorial development might exist. As it is, I only grasp a general premiss – ‘consequences of passion’ – deductively reasoned to a particular – Myshkin not comprehending, etc.  It seems obvious such a fictive particular is malleable as evidence and thus not confirming. The logic – or illogic – suggests a possibility of authorial ‘blinders’ as a consequence of nationalist literature.
++++As to the Victorian mimetic, class distinction is based upon a wealthy, landed class  (particularly 2 retired Generals and family) and lower, roguish class, of which the character Rogozhin – similar spelling as rogue – exemplifies.  Some bourgeois – proletarian binary exists but such a binary is at best a minor sub-theme which can distract the reader into thinking the book is a Marxist disceptation.
++++The book’s audience seems to be common-place people who may be swayed by large-scale – read Hesperian – socio-cultural trends.
++++By assemblage, I mean the plot developments are multifarious. A few of the novel’s events include Myshkin as pied piper to some children, character of Nastasya receiving 3 different marriage proposals each with large sums of money as the sweetener, a ‘parlor game’ of telling the worst thing one had ever done, a kind of inheritance fraud, a potential suicide which seems a case of seeking pity, a retired General reminiscing – fabricating is probably more apt – of aiding Napoleon Bonaparte during a French occupation of Moscow in 1812, etc. etc. It is difficult to combine all the developments into a singular narrative suggesting of a novel. The result is the novel seems an amorphous work.
++++Dostoevsky is the omniscient 3rd person narrator of the book. The multifariousness, the nationalism assist in making Dostoevsky’s frank and politic style and voice dominant. Thus, it’s not ridiculous to characterize The Idiot as Dostoevsky.  No, not that Dostoevsky IS an idiot in any sense, but that the work is overwhelmed by the author’s presence. A better title of the novel would have been ‘Dostoevsky . . . Author’.
++++Much of The Idiot argues Russia wants to emulate the west. (By west I mean Western Europe, Hesperia, Occidental or however else one prefers to express it.)  I refer to this as the Russian chimera of Westernness. Dostoevsky’s concern is that in emulating the west Russia is forsaking its own self.  An Hesperian is subsuming an archetypical Russian.
++++Myshkin has returned to Russia from Switzerland where he had been receiving medical care in an asylum. Myshkin seems to me a metonymy of European enlightenment, the very quality which is – as Dostoevsky is concerned – subsuming the veritable Russian character. Myshkin as a character is vacillating but in an ‘accepting of alternatives’ or resigned to fate or facts sort of way. These qualities have been interpreted by some as a representational portrayal of Christ.4   I don’t agree much. Myshkin is gentle, even eminently so, as Dostoevsky himself states. That this gentleness is seriously thought ‘Christ-like’ seems to me a real botch of interpretation.
++++While Myshkin is the ‘enlightened’ Hesperian, the Russian characters are more emotive and adherent . The dichotomy between the 2 is a contesting between ‘enlightenment’ and ‘darkness’, between theoriser and pragmatist. This contrast is further supported by narrative in which Myshkin occasionally confounds the hypostatised Russian characters.

++++‘What a string of nonsense! What can be the meaning of such twaddle according to you?’, Lizaveta Prokofyevna asked sharply, after listening to the letter with extraordinary attention.
++++I [Myshkin] can’t quite tell myself. I know my feeling was sincere. At that time I had moments of intense life and extraordinary hopes.’ 5

As per Dostoevsky’s concern, negating the emulous Russia requires Dostoevsky be a catechist of change. Dostoevsky himself becomes the liberator of this Russian emulating of the West. Dostoevsky, almost cheerfully, mitigates the pretense of Hesperian and its confusing effects.

++++‘We’ve had enough of following our whims; it’s time to be reasonable. And all this, all this life abroad, and this Europe of yours is all a fantasy . . .’ 6

He assuages with reassuring, school masterly aplomb; Sang-froid Dostoevsky lops this misguided Hesperian postiche into a pollard of the true Russian self .
++++Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1812, led a French invasion of Russia. It is probably  – behind Russian emulousness of the west – the single most dominating event motivating Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.
++++Napoleon marched approximately 600,000 men into a Russia defended by about 250,000 Russians. Napoleon eventually, and not too problematically, reached Moscow. Moscow, however, had been set afire by vacating citizens. After ruling over the near vacant city for about a month, Napoleon turned ’round and marched back to France. It was in the return march that Napoleon’s casualties mounted.
++++For our purposes 600,000 men is a BIG invasion force and Dostoevsky first published The Idiot in 1869, a measly 57 years after the invasion.
++++Firstly, how do I reach this conclusion about the importance of Napoleon and the invasion within The Idiot?

++++‘As for the letters N. F. B., he saw in that nothing but an innocent piece of mischief . . .  even in one way almost dishonorable, to think much about it.”7

Ostensibly, the letters N.F.B. refer to the character Nastasya Filippovna Barashhkova. Obviously, ‘he saw in that nothing but an innocent piece of mischief . . .’ connotes just the opposite of innocence. I decided to see which Russians – real and probably famous – might have the initials N.F. B. I also was satisfied that the initials N. B. alone would be relevant. The website ‘peoplebyinitials.com’ http://peoplebyinitials.com/?q=NB had a list of people – probably renowned for one reason or another – with the initials N.B. Guess who is at the top of the list. Napoleon Bonaparte.
++++Also, in Part IV, Chap. 4 of The Idiot, the character of Geneal Ivolgin relates – most likely lies – of having been a youngster at the time of the French invasion and serving Napoleon, after Napoleon had captured Moscow.
++++Additionally,

++++‘. . . set a novelist to work on the subject [the French invasion], he would weave in all sorts of incredible and improbable details.’ 8

Once I realized the cryptonym of Nastasya Barashkova and Napoleon Bonaparte, I could not concentrate on much of the Victorian or the Russian emulousness. I read Napoleon, the martial, and the vituperative into much of the remaining narrative.
++++In the following quotes, I’ve inserted and bracketed my own interpretation of that which precedes the bracket.  The interpretation is not definitive but relevant to the cryptic nature of Dostoevsky alluding of Napoleon and the invasion.

++++‘And yet a perfect regiment [army] was forming around her [Ostensibly, Nastasya Barashkova but Napoleon Bonaparte works enigmatically]; she [Napoleon again] had plenty of champions, [soldiers, followers] if she needed them.’9

++++‘But like the Frenchman [Napoleon], in a story that had just appeared in print, who had allowed himself to be consecrated as a priest, had purposely begged to be consecrated, had performed all the rites, all the bowings and kissings and vows, and so on [all the planning, logistics, marching, etc. of the invasion] in order to inform his bishop publicly [manifest in fact] next day [within a month of occupying Moscow], that, not believing in God, he considered it dishonorable to deceive the people, and so had renounced [changed his mind, deciding to leave] the priesthood [Moscow or Russia, which he’d just invaded] he had assumed the day before [had ruled over for a month] . . . ’10

++++‘ . . . wrote in a rather disconnected letter from Paris [Capitol of Napoleon’s France], that after a brief and extraordinary attachment to an exile, a Polish count, [Napoleon was exiled from France before returning] she had suddenly married him . . .’11

There are plenty of other quotes which I read similarly.
++++I’m not adamantly asserting this enigmatic vituperation of Napoleon but I think the phrase ‘reading between the lines’ likely supports the interpretation.
++++The Idiot is the book in which I first realized aesthetic is not the same thing as pathos. Essentially, aesthetic is beauty – one person’s beauty is another’s base – while pathos is – well, for want of better expression – a commiserating relational. The Idiot is full of pathos but has little aesthetic, as if an aesthetic were omissible.
++++Despite a complexity of ideas and insight, The Idiot at best skirts literary. Aesthetic is displaced by pathos, pathos is significantly ethnic and, also, pathos tends toward an agitprop with socio-political ends. The mix of benevolent national genuflection and allegorical, martial-like jibing of Napoleon and the 1812 French invasion of Russia make for a polemic rather than literature.
++++I’m not too fond of the book’s psychological as well as national interests.  I think I prefer an inchoate literature rather than a nationalist literature . . . or rather a nationalist polemic.

1 The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Bantam Classic reissue, Sept 2005, Bantam Dell, Division of Random House, New York, New York, U.S.A.
2 Ibid, pg. 54
3 Ibid, pg. 691
4 https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/jun/26/highereducation.classics
5 The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Bantam Classic reissue, Sept 2005, Bantam Dell, Division of Random House, New York, New York,U.S.A., pg. 356
6 Ibid, pg. 695
7 Ibid, pg. 340
8 Ibid, pg. 560
9 Ibid, pg. 344
10 Ibid, pg. 648
11 Ibid pg. 694

Other Consulted Material

http://www.victorian-era.org/victorian-age-literature.html
http://community.middlebury.edu/~beyer/courses/previous/ru351/novels/idiot/idiot.shtml
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2004/jun/26/highereducation.classics
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2008/jun/11/fyodordostoevsky
http://world.std.com/~raparker/exploring/books/hesse_hudson_idiot.html
https://penandthepad.com/characteristics-early-victorian-literature-4428.html