Trivia: The Idiot

  • What Could Have Been:
    • In Dostoevsky's original notes, Prince Myshkin wasn't a figure of Incorruptible Pure Pureness, but a proud and passionate villain who would have undergone a complete regeneration by the novel's end.
    • At the time Dostoevsky finished Part One, he was still planning on a very different ending in which Myshkin would redeem both Nastasya and Rogozhin.
  • Write What You Know: Myshkin’s epilepsy, his reaction to Hans Holbein the Younger’s painting Christ’s Body in the Tomb, his thoughts on Catholicism: all modeled on Dostoyevky’s own thoughts and experiences. Myshkin recounts via hearsay the thoughts of a condemned criminal awaiting execution; Dostoyevsky had himself been condemned, run through a mock execution, and only informed at the last second that his sentence had been reduced.