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Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
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Notes From Underground (1864)

by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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8,16488383 (4.07)1 / 293
Member:evforija
Title:Notes From Underground
Authors:Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Info:San Francisco. [n.d.]
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Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1864)

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English (80)  Swedish (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All (88)
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
Dostoevsky leads us into the deepest recesses of human consciousness, a mire of stinky sewers, feted pits and foul-smelling rat holes -- . novel as existential torment and alienation. Do you envision a utopia founded on the principals of love and universal brotherhood? If so, beware the underground man. And what is it about the underground? Well, ladies and gentlemen, here are several quotes from the text with my comments:

"I would now like to tell you, gentlemen, whether you do or do not wish to hear it, why I never managed to become even an insect. I'll tell you solemnly that I wanted many times to become an insect."----------The underground man's opening reflections form the first part of this short novel. He is forty years old, sits in his apartment, arms folded, brooding about life and death, telling us all about his underbelly-ish plight as a man-mouse, speaking about the subject giving him the greatest pleasure: himself.

"If man has not become more bloodthirsty from civilization, at any rate he has certainly become bloodthirsty in a worse, a viler way than formerly.” ----------The underground man spews out his view of others. If all humankind were to succumb to plague and die a horrible, anguished death, we can see in our mind's eye the underground man chuckling to himself and thinking every single minute of the excruciating pain of all those millions of men and women and children were well deserved. But, in all fairness, the underground man tells us he has a sensitive streak, being as insecure and touchy as a hunchback or dwarf.

"Two times two is four has a cocky look; it stands across your path, arms akimbo, and spits. I agree that two times two is four is an excellent thing; but if we're going to start praising everything, then two times two is five is sometimes also a most charming little thing."----------The underground man despises nature and the laws of nature. One can imagine how he would react if someone spoke of the philosophy of harmony or compassion – squinting his eyes, grinding his teeth and clenching his fists so hard blood would appear on his palms.

"Of Simonov's two guests, one was Ferfichkin, from Russian-German stock--short, monkey-faced, a fool who comically mimicked everyone, my bitterest enemy even in the lower grades--a mean, impudent little fanfaron who played at being most ticklish ambitious, though of course he was a coward at heart." ----------Here we have the underground man's reflections on encountering someone from his boyhood past. If you think the underground man would have less flattering things to say about you if he saw you talking in a railway station or eating at a restaurant, please continue reading. The underground man's hatred and bitterness reaches a high pitch by simply being around three of his former acquaintances. Has there ever been a more comical and compelling scene in all of literature?

"That night I had the most hideous dreams. No wonder: all evening I was oppressed by recollections of the penal servitude of my school years, and I could not get rid of them. I had been tucked away in that school by distant relations whose dependent I was and of whom I had no notion thereafter--tucked away, orphaned, already beaten down by their reproaches, already pensive, taciturn, gazing wildly about at everything. My schoolfellows met me with spiteful and merciless derision, because I was not like any of them. . . . I immediately began to hate them, and shut myself away from everyone in timorous, wounded, and inordinate pride."----------The underground man deals with a cab driver, a young prostitute and his servant. Such nastiness, such viciousness -- every single encounter vivid and memorable. Dostoyevsky at his finest.

"We're stillborn, and have long ceased to be born of living fathers, and we like this more and more. We're acquiring a taste for it. Soon we'll contrive to be born somehow from an idea. But enough; I don't want to write any more "from Underground" . . . "----------You may forget other works of literature you have read; however, I can assure you, once you have read the underground man's notes it will be an experience you will not soon forget.
( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
A thoroughly unpleasant book. A boring whiny rant, occasionally pretending to philosophical insight. ( )
  Crypto-Willobie | Jan 16, 2017 |
Ahead of its time, deeply psychological, and enhanced by a crafty translation, this Dostoevsky novella is a brilliant precursor to the Modernist Age of literature. ( )
  Birdo82 | Jan 15, 2017 |
An entertaining at times critique of philosophy such as rationalism among others, overall not my cup of tea. ( )
  kale.dyer | Jan 14, 2017 |
I wish he would go on and on. Great read. ( )
  PBugriyev | Dec 24, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dostoevsky, Fyodorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adrian, EsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coulson, JessieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dekker, PietTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garnett, ConstanceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geier, SwetlanaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ginzburg, LeoneContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ingold, Felix PhilippTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kallama, ValtoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lönnqvist, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Polledro, AlfredoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Praag, S. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roseen, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Wokół mrok, choć wykol oczy;
Co tu robić? Będzie źle!
Bies nas widać w polu toczy
I kołuje nami we mgle.

Biesy kręcą się szalone,
Jako liście w słotny dzień.
Skąd ich tyle? Dokąd pędzą,
Zawodzące straszną pieśń?
Czy to czart się żeni z jędzą?

(A.Puszkin)
A była tam duża trzoda świń, pasących się na górze. Prosiły go więc (złe duchy) żeby im pozwolił wejść w nie. I pozwolił im. Wtedy złe duchy wyszły z człowieka i weszły w świnie, a trzoda ruszyła pędem po urwistym zboczu do jeziora i utonęła. Na widok tego, co zaszło, pasterze uciekli i rozpowiedzieli to po mieście i po zagrodach. Ludzie wyszli zobaczyć, co się stało. Przyszli do Jezusa i zastali człowieka, z którego wyszły złe duchy, ubranego i przy zdrowych zmysłach, siedzącego u nóg Jezusa. Strach ich ogarnął. A ci, którzy widzieli, opowiedzieli im, w jaki sposób opętany został uzdrowiony.

(Łuk. VIII, 32-36)
Dedication
First words
I am a sick man. ... I am a spiteful man.
I am a sick man... I am a wicked man.
Quotations
"I wished to stifle with external sensations all that was ceaselessly boiling up inside me."
"...because for a woman it is in love that all resurrection, all salvation from ruin of whatever sort, and all regenerations consists, nor can it revel itself in anything but this."
"Leave us to ourselves without a book and we'll immediately get confused, lost -- we won't know what to join, what to hold to, what to love and what to hate, what to respect and what to despise."
At home, I merely used to read. Reading stirred, delighted, and tormented me.
It is impossible for an intelligent man seriously to become anything, and only fools become something.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Nella prima parte, "Il sottosuolo", il protagonista racconta la sua infanzia e la formazione della personalità più nascosta (il sottosuolo per l'appunto). Nella seconda, "A proposito della neve fradicia", ripercorre alcuni episodi della sua vita dove più emerge il "sottosuolo". Segue alcuni compagni di scuola ad una cena, sfoga poi l'amarezza per le offese subite su Liza, una prostituta incontrata in una casa di tolleranza, mostrandole con durezza che cosa l'aspetta nel futuro. Dopo qualche giorno Liza ritorna da lui col desiderio di una vita pura, ma viene trattata con disprezzo e volgarità. Per umiliarla le mette in mano un biglietto da cinque rubli, che poi ritroverà sul suo tavolo quando la donna se ne sarà andata, testimonianza della grande dignità di Liza.
(piopas)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067973452X, Paperback)

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)Dostoevsky’s most revolutionary novel, Notes from Underground marks the dividing line between nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction, and between the visions of self each century embodied. One of the most remarkable characters in literature, the unnamed narrator is a former official who has defiantly withdrawn into an underground existence. In full retreat from society, he scrawls a passionate, obsessive, self-contradictory narrative that serves as a devastating attack on social utopianism and an assertion of man’s essentially irrational nature.Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, whose Dostoevsky translations have become the standard, give us a brilliantly faithful edition of this classic novel, conveying all the tragedy and tormented comedy of the original.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:28 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A faithful translation of the classic written at the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century follows the narrator's withdrawal from his life as an official to the underground, where he makes passionate and obsessive observations on social utopianism and the irrational nature of humankind.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0451529553, 0141024917, 0141194863

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