Dostoevsky's "The Minor" Synopsis and Thoughts - A hidden masterpiece from his later years! 'I want to be a Rothschild.

minor Dostoevsky's works

Summary and synopsis of Dostoevsky's hidden masterpiece "The Minor"

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881)Wikipedia.

The Minor is a full-length novel published in 1875.

I read "Minors" translated by Seiichiro Kudo, published by Shinchosha Publishing.

Let's take a quick look at the synopsis on the back cover.

In the 1870s, old institutions and morals were rapidly crumbling in Russia.
What will save this country from collapse? The great writer tried to find the answer in this work.

Versilov, an intellectual nobleman, is the head of his family, but his passion for Ahmakova, "the woman of destiny," drives him down a path of destruction. Meanwhile, Arkazy, the illegitimate son of a servant, resents the world because of his shady upbringing and yearns for his father's love while seeking wealth and power. Against the backdrop of the turmoil in Russian society, this masterpiece from Dostoevsky's mature period depicts a human figure torn between faith and unbelief, earthly love and heavenly love.

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The hero of this story is a bastard child named Arkazy, born to the nobleman Versilov and his servant.

As a bastard child, Al-Khazi'i was also miserable at boarding school and suffered deep emotional scars.

He grew up to be a young man, and this story begins. The Minor" is written in the form of a memoir by this young man, Al-Khazi'i. The story is told entirely from his point of view. Therefore, the story is told entirely from Al-Khazaei's point of view, and we, the readers, see the mysterious world through his eyes, which are ignorant of the world.

The afterword to the lower volume summarizes the formation process of this work as follows.

In July 1871, he left the raging Europe of the Paris Commune and returned home with deep sorrow, saying, "Christ is lost in Western Europe, so Western Europe must be doomed. ...... What he saw was Russia, where "everything has been turned upside down," as Tolstoy put it.

At that time, with the abolition of serfdom, the old institutions and morals that supported society were rapidly crumbling, and with the development of capitalism, general impoverishment was rapidly advancing. What would save this "chemically decomposing" Russia from eventual collapse? Dostoevsky tried to find out "underage.
Some line breaks have been made.

Shinchosha Publishing, translation by Seiichiro Kudo, Minors, vol. 2, p. 614

The Paris Commune of 1871 was a period of turmoil immediately after the fall of the Second Empire of Napoleon III, which lasted about 20 years. For more information on this period, please refer to Emile Zola'sRuined."It is described in detail in

This article did not mention the Paris Commune, but it does present, albeit briefly, the corruption of the Second Empire, the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and the tragic end of the Paris Commune that emerged from it.

Now, with this work, Dostoevsky explores what salvation might look like in a Europe in decline and a Russia in turmoil.


It is honestly very difficult to summarize this work in a nutshell.

This is because this work is about the chaos in Russia.

Through this chaos, the protagonist, Al-Khazi'i, struggles and pushes forward, trying to find himself.

What is even more troubling is that Al-Khazi'i himself is also in chaos, struggling right and left, unable to find anything solid in the midst of the chaos. Since this story is told from the perspective of Al-Khazi'i, the novel will continue to move forward with an uncertain mystery, and you will continue to experience a very unsettled atmosphere.

However, despite this, Arkhazy has his own ideals that he keeps in his heart. He himself describes his thoughts as follows.

My ideal - to be a Rothschild. I want you, my readers, to calm down and take me seriously.

Again, my ideal is - to be a Rothschild. To be rich like Rothschild. Not just to be rich, but to be like Rothschild.

Shinchosha, translated by Seiichiro Kudo, Minors, vol. 1, p. 614

The main character, Arkajy, has a very strong complex about his birth as a bastard. His experiences at boarding school have caused even deeper wounds inside him.

The ideal he found was Rothschild.

Money, even overwhelming money, will make any human being grovel. It cannot be just rich people. It has to be Rothschild. That is his obsession.

Crime and Punishment."Raskolnikov, the protagonist of the "The Rothschilds," found his ideal in Napoleon, while Rothschild was chosen as the ideological theme for the current film.

The reason why Rothschild was chosen here is that Dostoevsky was Pushkin'sThe Stingy Knight.The work was strongly influenced by the work of

Here is one of the connections between "The Stingy Knight" and Dostoevsky.

In the summer of 1874, Dostoevsky went to Ems for treatment of emphysema and worked on a plan for a long novel. But his work was slow going. When in the world am I going to write a novel? The sun is shining so brightly during the day, I am tempted to go for a walk, and the town is buzzing. I wish I could get to the long story. If only I had even the slightest idea, if only I could get to it, it would mean that half of the work was done" (June 15, 1874). Instead of writing, he reads Pushkin and "gets carried away" (June 16, to his wife). He marvels anew at the genius of the plot of "The Stingy Knight. Influenced by Pushkin's tragic miser, he comes up with his own protagonist - an Arkazy Dolgoruky with a "Rothschild's idée".

Motuliski.A Critical Biography of Dostoevsky.Translated by Yutaka Matsushita and Kyoko Matsushita, p. 528

Thus was born "The Minor," one of Dostoevsky's five great works. I visited Ems, Germany, in 2022 and wrote the following article about my stay in Ems, Germany. I am sure you will get an idea of the conditions under which Dostoevsky was planning "The Minor".

The fall of Dostoevsky's former utopia of "Europe" and the chaos of Russia.

What can save people in such dire circumstances? This is the question Dostoevsky poses to his readers in his work "The Minor.

And the issues raised in this work have since matured and matured into the last great workThe Brothers Karamazov.The new system will be incorporated into the

In other words, the germ of "The Brothers Karamazov" can already be found in this work. In this sense, the work is also interesting.

Sandwiched between the two enormous works "Evil Spirits" and "The Brothers Karamazov," "The Minor" has been overshadowed by the five great feature films, but in an ideological sense it contains something very important.

This work is often mentioned as important in books on Dostoevsky. That is how much literary and ideological value the work has.

The above is a synopsis of "The Minor" - Dostoevsky's hidden masterpiece! I want to be a Rothschild."

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