The Idiot

I’m reading Will, by Will Self. There is a teenage moment that is just perfect:

Simon’s a mole of a young man, with a thick pile brown hair and blinking myopic eyes. He’s an epileptic, and wears a chunky silver bracelet engraved with the rather alarming instructions that need to be followed if he succumbs to grand mal seizure. Will – by way of letting everyone know he’s reading the Russians – calls Simon Rogozhin, and asks often if, in the run-up to his attacks, he experiences the same wild epiphanies as Dostoevsky’s antihero.

The reference is to The Idiot. But the antihero Rogozhin is not the epileptic – that would be Prince Myshkin, the eponymous idiot, who is definitely not the antihero.

I’m ashamed (not enough to stop me posting this!) to report being quite thrilled to have identified this error (having just finished reading The Idiot)… but maybe it’s not what it seems?

My own recollection of reading classics as a teenager has left me with many unreliable memories of books that were beyond my life experience. Perhaps that’s what’s happening here… and i’m (still) the idiot?

Wise words...

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