Did Dostoevsky’s “Prince Myshkin” have Asperger’s Syndrome?

Fyodor Dostoevsky

There was a time in my life when I was searching for life’s meaning, and I would go to the classics section of the book store at the mall and buy a few of the ones that captured my interest. They were labeled classics because of their enduring themes and artistry; they provoked thought. But most of them did not provide me with the “key” I was seeking. That is, until I discovered the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky. I read three of them: Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov.

 The Idiot features a main character which is Dostoevsky’s unique version of what is familiar in Russia as the holy fool, a persons whose bizarre or quirky behavior masks deep holiness, so that others would not necessarily accord the person a kind of deference which would create barriers to natural relationships (which happens when we put on a “best face” in the presence of someone official or special).

The character’s name is Prince Myshkin. His “quirk” is his extraordinary kindness, a kindness that leads to very profoundly heavy personal costs.

The website listed below is a resource and community center for people with Autism and Asperger’s syndrome, and the discussion reveals that the people of this community sense a certain kinship with character of Prince Myshkin.

Read the discussion for yourself: http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt139197.html

Image from: http://boris-books.blogspot.com/2011/04/on-resuming-idiot-by-fyodor-dostoevsky.html

1 Response to “Did Dostoevsky’s “Prince Myshkin” have Asperger’s Syndrome?”



  1. 1 Orthodox Collective Trackback on March 3, 2013 at 1:25 PM

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