Notes from Underground

Notes from Underground

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

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Overview

"I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man," the irascible voice of a nameless narrator cries out. And so, from underground, emerge the passionate confessions of a suffering man; the brutal self-examination of a tormented soul; the bristling scorn and iconoclasm of alienated individual who has become one of the greatest antiheroes in all literature. Notes From Underground, published in 1864, marks a tuming point in Dostoevsky's writing: it announces the moral political, and social ideas he will treat on a monumental scale in Crime And Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781607961253
Publisher: Beta Nu Publishing
Publication date: 05/19/2009
Pages: 136
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

Few authors have been as personally familiar with desperation as Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881), and none have been so adept at describing it. His harrowing experiences in Russian prisons, combined with a profound religious philosophy, formed the basis for his greatest books: Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Possessed, and The Brothers Karamazov. When Dostoevsky died in 1881, he left a legacy of masterful novels that immortalized him as a giant of Russian literature.

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Notes from Underground 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
StephenBarkley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've met the underground man before. After years of pastoring, I've seen traces of him in all sorts of people¿even myself. I've witnessed the painfully thorough introspection that causes otherwise rational people's thoughts to cycle through an internal feedback loop. I've been privy to the inflated sense of pride that imagines absurd revenge scenarios in response to the slightest unintentional personal infraction. There's plenty of underground man in our world today.It's uncanny how a nineteenth century Russian man is reflected so clearly in our capitalistic western culture. Perhaps the rejection of any sort of utopian vision is the common thread. The idea that the world isn't getting better and better draws strange people together.This was my first foray into Dostoyevsky (I'm ashamed to say). He's created a compelling character that elicits empathy while simultaneously thoroughly frustrating the reader. This sort of tortured complexity will keep me coming back to Dostoyevsky for a long time.
akimkabo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A terrifying look into one man's confession. The end is more haunting after you have swam through his thoughts at the start of the story.
MissTeacher on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have virtually no idea why this book is considered a classic. More of a "personal manifesto" than an actual story, this is a disjointed reasoning of why the narrator feels and acts so outlandishly. Though I can sympathize with some of his emotions on my very worst days, 'Notes' as a whole left me feeling exhausted and a little dull. The second part of the book does try to assume some semblance of a story, yet the other characters are hardly developed, the plot is weak, and the climax is wholly anticlimactic. The only saving grace is the scene with the prostitute, yet even that promise is not only not fulfilled, it is swept with disgust under the carpet.
Ljrei77 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book that addresses the question of "what is the self?". The underground man can only represent us who find ourselves lost and unsure yet despised by our own ineptitude. For those who have not yet to begin exploring "what a self is" or "what and why makes the self?" I highly suggest you start here.
poetontheone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dostoevsky's novella is part narrative and part manifesto, all awash in anguish. The book is the indelible cornerstone of existential literature, being a violent confrontation with the human condition and the nature of life. There are a number of quotable passages here, and the writing is smooth and digestible in contrast to the narrator. He is not likable, though he is interesting in much the same way as a car crash or the aftermath of disaster, and it is probable that most readers can relate to his bitterness, though maybe not at such extreme levels.
willnapier on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Typically Dostoyevskian black humour and sense of angst. Themes of the admiribility of conscienceless evil, and free will. His protagonist insists that we do not operate by some calculus of our best interests, and that it is an essential part of being human that we exercise our right not to operate in such a mathematical way.
mattviews on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"So long live the underground. I already carried the underground in my soul." This best epitomizes Dostoyevsky's Notes from Underground.The book is not easy to read let alone to digest. Dostoyevsky again placed some of his favorite arguments in the moth of a character (the 40-year-old underground man) he despised. The underground man self-proclaims to be angry and sick at the very beginning and goes out of his way to offend his readers. The book reads like a delirious man's babbling, in his own shy, wounded, and exorbitant pride. While a novel usually needs a hero, but here Dostoyevsky had purposely collected all the features of an anti-hero: self-contempt, wounded vanity, conceit, and sensitive ego. Even though the underground man might be extremely egotistical and has no respect for others, Dostoyevsky never meant for him to have any surface appeal. The recurring themes of the narrative revolve around the underground man's alienation from society, which he despises, his bitter sarcasm, and the heightened awareness of self-consciousness. He larks to revenge himself for his humiliation by humiliating others. I don't think Dostoyevsky meant for the underground man to be liked and pitied by the readers. In fact, our anti-hero is inevitably targeted for Dostoyevsky's harsh satire. The first part of the book (titled The Underground) introduces the anonymous underground man and his outlook on life. The second part (titled A Story of the Falling Sleet) sees how the man with heightened senses of ego and awareness submerges voluptuously into his underground, motivated by many contradictory impulses. Dostoyevsky paints not only a complex portrait of an anonymous personage who lacks surface appeal, but also a society in which people are so unaccustomed to living and the manners of which that they feel a loathing for real life. Notes from Underground is an egocentric man's monologue that is abound with fascinating nuance which reveals itself only upon close reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I won't go into detail but this is a book to read and contemplate on with out judgement
otterly More than 1 year ago
Most of this was philosophical, but there was an interesting section where he was attending a dinner with a bunch of his acquaintances, despite a large yellow mustard stain on his trousers. He was quite poor and didn't comport himself well. On Nook, it is only 133 pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was torn between giving this 3 or 4 starts, but I went with four because no doubt it is profound, engaging and thought-provoking, though not very entertaining a read. This was probably my least favorite of the 5 Dostoevsky novels I've read so far (Demons, The Idiot, C&P, TBK, and Notes) but it's still a good book, and certainly a lot better than most of what is being written nowadays. The ramblings and actions of our narrator, though they may seem to be complete nonsense at times, actually constitute a pretty accurate description of the human condition as it relates to dignity, self-worth, and one's perceived place in society. That being said, as far as entertainment value is concerned, this book has a rather disjointed flow to it (intentional no doubt), there is very little semblance of a plot, the characters are difficult to relate to at times, and the book ends just as soon as it finally starts to get going. I really don't think I would recommend this book to someone looking for an entertaining read, as this book didn't entertain me much at all. That being said it still gives one a good think if they devote the energy to reading it, so I wouldn't have any reservations recommending it to my nihilistic, cynical, and jaded intellectual buddies. 
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This translation of "Notes from Underground" is essential for an understanding of Dostoevsky's critique of traditions within Western Philosophy and his analysis of consciousness. Overall, this novel grabs the reader from his high and lofty comfort and drags him down to the raw, unmitigated center of his own humanity. One should enjoy it as a invigorating philosophical read or as a slow literary read; either way, it is an essential book to the reader who wants to be intellectually stimulated.
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