Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky MAG

By Alejandro Dubovoy, Aventura, FL

Notes from Underground is a short, strange book about a lonely, wicked 40-year-old man, who talks about himself and his thoughts detail by detail. The book brings the reader into the mind of a man overly conscious of social issues.

This “underground man,” whose name is never mentioned, overanalyzes every thought and detail of his life. He lives in St. Petersburg and has no social life whatsoever, doing nothing to change it.

This man dislikes himself but at the same time thinks he is smarter than everyone else. He is incredibly lonely and wants attention. He even admits he is a wicked man. I mean, what is more wicked than that?

However, from beginning to end, I wondered if this man was a genius or simply crazy. I admire that Dostoyevsky created this underground man to narrate the story because it’s so detailed that it seems like the author is the actual narrator.

I agree with some of the ideas the underground man mentions, such as that even the ugliest thing in the world is rather beautiful, or that suffering is the cause of consciousness.

Personally, I would rather read a longer book and enjoy it, rather than a short book that I can rush through but find unexciting. It is not worth reading this for the three or four times the wicked man makes you stop and think about an interesting idea.

Besides some insights about life here and there, I found it rather pointless. The underground man talks about nothing but himself and what goes through his head.

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This article has 1 comment.

on Oct. 22 2008 at 3:13 am
I recommend you take a couple of years off from The Underground Man. Even though, ironically Dostoevsky himself does not support the nihilist, "wicked 40-year-old man", it has one of the greatest senses of identification in contemporary society which has trascended all kinds of philosophic tendencies since the mid 19th century. Do not blame the novel for its brief narrative style; if you ever read it again contemplate how somebody could show so much emotional and philosophical intensity in just a few pages.


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