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The centerpiece of this collection , "The Eternal Husband" (1890) is one of Dostoevsky's most perfect works. Classical in form, it presents his most profound exploration of mimetic rivalry and the duality of human consciousness. Told from the point of view of a rich and idle man who is confronted by a younger rival, the husband of his former, and now deceased, mistress, the story portrays the interchanging hatred and love of the two men.
Along with "The Eternal Husband" is "A Nasty Anecdote" (1862), a satire on the "reform period of Russia," which portrays a high-ranking official who is convinced that "humaneness" will unite all people in a regenerated society. The other three stories, "Bobok" (1873), "The Meek One" (1876) and "The Dream of A Ridiculous Man" (1877), are taken from The Diary of a Writer, which Dostoevsky published between the completion of Demons and The Brothers Karamazov. Together they represent the culmination and final synthesis of Dostoevsky's philosophical ideas.