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Surprisingly, although virtually no one doubts Dostoevsky’s profound and direct indebtedness to Cervantes, and the Quixote–Myshkin identity is obvious, no one has ever mentioned or analyzed how Myshkin, the character more dialogically elaborate and versatile, turned out to be more limited in literary expressivity than his more “monological” counterpart. The focus on this essay is the question of what weakened the realness of Dostoevsky’s favorite hero, and what negatively affected his literary answerability.


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