Synopses & Reviews
‘It is best to do nothing! The best thing is conscious inertia! So long live the underground!’ Alienated from society and paralysed by a sense of his own insignificance, the anonymous narrator of Dostoyevsky’s groundbreaking Notes from Underground
tells the story of his tortured life. With bitter sarcasm, he describes his refusal to become a worker in the ‘ant-hill’ of society and his gradual withdrawal to an existence ‘underground’. The seemingly ordinary world of St Petersburg takes on a nightmarish quality in The Double
when a government clerk encounters a man who exactly resembles him – his double perhaps, or possibly the darker side of his own personality. Like Notes from Underground,
this is a masterly study of human consciousness. Jessie Coulson’s introduction discusses the stories’ critical reception and the themes they share with Dostoyevksy’s great novels.
Jessie Coulson's introduction discusses the stories' critical reception and the themes they share with Dostoyevsky's novels. A single, tormented, character dominates both of these short novels written at different stages of Dostoyevsky's career.
Written in 1864, this novel is the first and strangest of Dostoevsky's masterpieces--and the source of those that followed. Violating literary conventions in ways never before attempted, this classic tells of a mid-19th-century Russian official's breakaway from society and descent "underground".
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