The Idiot (2017) by Elif Batuman


Critical Assessment "The novel’s ability to seduce readers with its alternate, and invariably more attractive, versions of reality was much lamented in the 19th century. Thomas Jefferson blamed literature for encouraging 'a bloated imagination, sickly judgment and disgust towards all the real businesses of life.' But it is this very power — to inspire us to insist a flock of sheep is an opposing army — that is literature’s true subject, according to the critic and journalist Elif Batuman. Novels are about other novels — and how they make us suffer, she wrote in her 2010 essay collection, 'The Possessed: Adventures with [...]