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Crocodile

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By: (1821-1881)

Crocodile by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a fascinating and thought-provoking novella that delves into the complexities of human nature. The story follows Ivan Matveitch, a government clerk who is swallowed whole by a crocodile while trying to retrieve a lost pet dog. Surprisingly, Ivan finds himself alive and well inside the crocodile's belly, where he is able to observe the world from a new perspective.

Dostoyevsky masterfully blends elements of satire, social commentary, and psychological insight in this darkly humorous tale. Through the character of Ivan, the author explores themes of ambition, ego, and the struggle for power. Ivan's experience inside the crocodile serves as a metaphor for the ways in which individuals can become trapped by their own desires and obsessions.

The novella is relatively short, but Dostoyevsky's writing is dense and rich with symbolism and allegory. The narrative is at once absurd and profound, challenging readers to question their own values and motivations. Overall, Crocodile is a unique and captivating work that showcases Dostoyevsky's keen insight into the human psyche.

Book Description:
Ivan Matveich, the most ordinary person you might hope to meet, is swallowed alive by a crocodile at a sideshow. Finding life inside the belly of the beast quite comfortable, he makes a home for himself there. His disquisitions on the state of the world from inside the crocodile make him quite a name for himself; while all the while the discussion rages outside as to whether the beast is going to be cut open to release him or not, its value as a sideshow attraction having massively increased owing to the presence of the human voice buried inside it. One of Jorge Luis Borges' seven most favourite stories. - Summary by Tony Addison


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