Kissing an Idiot
July 25, 2010 4:23 PM Subscribe
What's with all the kissing in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot?
posted by holterbarbour to Society & Culture (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm about a quarter of the way through The Idiot, and Myshkin tells a long story about how he kissed a village outcast out of sympathy, the village children are kissing him and the village outcast, and Kolya is kissing Myshkin after a slap from Ganya. It's not romantic, it's something more like consolation and sympathy. I can't imagine these were lip-to-lip kisses. Were they on the cheek? On the hand, as Ganya offered to do to Myshkin in apology for the slap? Left-cheek-right-cheek (or is is right-cheek-left-cheek) like the French and Russians do as a greeting? Something....else?
If anyone can tell me, I'd like to know how this kissing was physically performed....and any other info you might have as well with regard to this phenomena in Russia or elsewhere. Thanks!