This is a ridiculous book. It is the letters exchanged between a poor old man and a poor young woman who live in the same housing complex but who rarely see each other for the sake of propriety. It's basically something like this:"Oh Makar this week I lost my job and I'm running out of cash and I'm feeling so sick that I just might die! Whatever shall I do!""Oh Varvara, you poor child. Let me, as a father figure, send you some flowers and linens even though I have no money and will probably get drunk this weekend and I am only half a man!""Oh Makar, stop sending me things you can't afford. You're so poor and you never come visit me and you have terrible taste in books and when I was a child I was once in love with a boy who died!""Oh Varvara, my taste in books isn't that bad. True, I can't write and I have no style and everything I write is so deliberate and forced that it's painful to read, except when I declare my love to you, in those instances where I'm passionate my writing improves slightly. Vavara you know that I like sending you things I can't afford but this week my horrible landlady needs money and I have none, and whatever shall I do! I am a broken man!"And so on. These two make Myshkin, the "idiot" look like a genius.