eBook Записки из подполья By Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Cheapnikeshoes.co

oh, dear this is not a character that it is healthy to relate to, is it he is a scootchpathetic than me, andarticulate, but his pettinesses are mine his misanthropy is mine, his contradictions and weaknesses i have to go hide now, i feel dirty and exposedcome to my blog 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One Of The Most Remarkable Characters In Literature, The Unnamed Narrator Is A Former Official Who Has Defiantly Withdrawn Into An Underground Existence In Complete Retreat From Society, He Scrawls A Passionate, Obsessive, Self Contradictory Narrative That Serves As A Devastating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 NatureRichard 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 More than anything, this book should make you think And not about trivial shit either, but about big, important conditions of life and how best to view and react to them I have should italicized in that first sentence for a reason If you don t give yourself time to think if just skim through the book quickly then you won t get anything out of it It s narrated by a guy living underground, in poverty You are reading his notes The first half, his ramblings, thoughts and philosophies of life, via monologue The second half, humiliating stories from when he was 24 he is now 40 He is a fascinating character A paranoid, ridiculous, introspective, analytical, abrasive, laughable, vengeful, antisocial, extreme, hypersensitive, pathological, delicate, hilarious, bottom dwelling, pathetic, indecisive, crazy, loner of a man He is an educated and intelligent man Both his thoughts and actions are paradoxical He is emotionally tough, then emotionally sensitive and fragile He stands for great unequivocal moral virtue, then cowers further in his morally rotten state At one moment he has what seems to be great conviction and inner strength At the next moment, wavering doubt and uncertainty He is an individual, unaffected by people, choosing to live by himself He is hypersensitive to what others think, to the point of being paranoid He lives in great poverty he has manic spurts, dreams, and visions of megalomania You want to feel sorry for him, because he s pitiful and full of pain You want to hate him, because he is hateful and a burden on humanity He is a contrarian against everything, even himself As previously mentioned, the beauty of this novel comes from the many various thoughts it can give birth to It doesn t offer any easy answers or an obvious paradigm There are no gifts in this book New thoughts must be earned, but the opportunities are plenty Below I ve listed out some of the random ass thoughts I had while reading, just to give you an idea of what I m talking about Those of you who read the book will probably disagree with some of them, and trust me, I don t claim to be good with literary analysis, so you could probably convince me against some after all they re just thoughts And don t feel like you need to read them maybe one or two to get the main thinkinpoint The narrator is an angry man with strongly violent speech, reveries, and threats Yet we never see him act in violence Is he, or is he not, physically dangerous What a shame it is that someone who has the capability of making great impact such as this man ends up being so insignificant If anything, the world would be a better place without this guy He uses his intelligence and intuition in all the wrong ways, bringing others down, including himself or often, just himself through his actions Our underground man wavered too much He had trouble making up his mind and once having made a decision, he d change it In regards to making difficult decisions, Yogi Berra once said, When you come to the fork in the road, take it Sometimes, most or even all of the options available are better than not taking any, or changing your mind midway through Our narrator even wavered or made stupid decisions when faced with simple situations common sense scenarios that 99% of the population would respond to in a better fashion than the ridiculous, silly ways that he did How can such a smart man be such a poor decision maker I wonder how successful would he would be if his chemical imbalance where fixed I guess it would have to be through pills and he saw a good shrink I wonder how much of his inner turmoil and unhappiness is caused by not being chemically stable I wonder how much of his pathological condition is fixable He seems to be incapable of love, and even says so Yet, he shows dashes of deep understanding of it, and so you think he can t be right about that himself not being able to love but, wouldn t he know Is he bullshitting Maybe he s serious, but just wrong about himself perhaps he s capable of love but hasn t yet, perhaps because nobody has ever loved him He seems to want to love at times, but then he ll completely shun it glorifying it at one moment and then spitting upon it the next Could he have opened his heart to the innocent whore that he meets Given their compliments in character, could they have provided one another with support, understanding, and love, had he just given it a chance Or, perhaps he doesn t need those things ultimately he retreats from such opportunities and returns to his spite Are things like support, human understanding, and love things that we all need Maybe if he would just open up once, he would get the love he needs and change into a much better person in all aspects of his life At one point in the book, our narrator states, she is the cause of it all Perhaps this one quote sums up a large portion of his problem Instead of taking life by the horns and making the most of it, he s bitter and blames other people for his problems He needs to take charge of the things he can control, instead of freezing himself with contempt In the second half of the book the narrator seems to be completely honest about his ridiculous past actions, and his various shortcomings There s something to be said for that kind of honesty It goes hand in hand with his anti social, anti establishment persona He doesn t feel a need to present himself asacceptable to society than he really is which is to say, not at all I like this about him If the narrator didn t live in such poverty, could he gave gotten himself out of his figurative hole If he had the basic necessities, would he have then had the level of conformability needed to start improving himself If so, would he he then chose to improve himself He states, the most intense pleasures occur in despair Is he actually enjoying his situation Oh man, there are just so many ways to look at that That sentence alone describes the paradox of this book in so many ways Go ahead, think about it some. This guy is a great example of how common sense and emotional stability are oftenimportant than IQ But he would probably make a semi strong argument to the contrary The stories of his foolishness part 2 of the novel took place 16 years before his writing about them Was he wiser at the time of writing than he was when the actions took place He articulates some recognition of shame and regret Does he still behave ridiculously We don t have a strong idea of what his philosophies were 16 years ago during part 2 , and we don t know what his behavior was like at the time part 1 was written at his current age of 40 Real life oppressed me with its novel so much that I could hardly breathe Is his problem that he s too introspective Is his heavily introspective nature a reason he s such a mess Perhaps his problem is that he s just too analytical, too much of a thinker, too caught inside his own head Perhaps he s not in touch with his feelings enough, and that by avoiding them, when they inevitably come out to live is to feel , they are so foreign to him that he doesn t know how to deal with them He is known as a great anti hero Perhaps one can learn how to live by not being like this guy But he does have some positive qualities he s introspective, and prone to the kind of independent, critical analysis that leads to innovation A great hero wouldn t necessarily be the opposite of this guy or would he And what constitutes a hero anyway And so you see, after reading this, I feel a bit like the narrator conflicting, contrary and paradoxical thoughts running in different directions, often without conclusions It s frustrating, but there s an energizing element to taking on such thoughts These listed contemplations probably differ from yours, but that s part of what makes this novel of paradox so good Despite it being short, it s the kind of book I could read over and over again and still find it thought provoking and satisfying each time Society is persistent about filling our brains with the largely mindless celebrity gossip, mtv, the newest trends, sitcoms, etc hell just look around, examples are everywhere Good books can bring us to our thinking place, which puts us in an opposite state Getting to the thinking place, and staying there for a while, is not easy It takes effort, but it s rewarding The thinking place is were we grow as individuals and as a society This book can take you to your thinking place. Imagine 19th century Russian literature as a loud boisterous party Here s Pushkin, basking in the center of attention, charming up all the ladies Here are Chekhov and Gogol at the heart of a passionate intellectual argument Here s Count Tolstoy, busily serving canap s while rejoicing in the pleasure of work, stopping only to chat about the pleasures of countryside with Turgenev But where s Dostoyevsky Oh, there he is, sitting by himself in a dark corner, dead broke after a high stakes cards game, giving you the unsettling intense heavy glare that easily penetrates right into the darkest best guarded secrets of your soul, the glare that clearly says been there, done that, been repulsed by what I saw And if he looks like he s judging you, it s because he is And you deserve it, probably.Fyodor Mikhailovich, you don t make liking you easy, do you This book is brilliant Unpleasant and hard to read, disturbing and unsettling, and really brilliant But before I go into my long winded discussion, let me get this off my chest, for the honesty purposes and full disclosure I finally can admit I don t get Dostoyevsky Perhaps my mind is a tad too shallow for his literary depths perhaps my inner ball of sunshine deep deep inside refuses to see the world through Dostoyevsky s disillusioned glare.But I don t need to get him to know the greatness when I see it, to respect his sharp writing, his keenly observant eye that does not let anything slip away, and his scarily clear perceptions of people and the layers in which they dress up their otherwise petty and pathetic selves.In this short and strange book, Dostoyevsky manages to create perhaps the most disturbing image of a human being in the entire 19th century literature Let me jot down just a few of the epithets that came pouring into my head with every page I read petty, bitter, miserly, resentful, selfish, pitiful, entitled, cruel, deeply unpleasant and frankly miserable The person who finds disgusting satisfaction in little acts of petty nastiness The person who perversely enjoys stewing in self imposed misery and figurative self flagellation over every perceived slight, building exquisite mountains out of molehills The person who would thrive on humiliating others, but if unable to achieve that would just as happily thrive on self humiliation and self loathing The person who in the confines of his little mind hides a true despot, but gets his sense of self worth by assuming that everyone else is beneath his miserable but clearly enlightened and misunderstood self despite the world pointing to the contrary The person who d quietly spit into your bowl if you haven t offered to share it with him and then will internally torment himself for years over the act, feeling that the act of torment is enough to elevate him out of the mud The person who, in ramblings about how rotten society is helps it rot a little bit .In short, he created a character the sheer mention of whom makes me want to take a shower and wash all of the above off me.He created a character that with all of the above scarily reminds you of so many people you know and maybe sometimes even yourself.And that s what really disturbing about it.And this disturbing part is exactly what makes me from time to time abandon the fun bits of the Russian literature party and instead join Fyodor Mikhailovich in his dark gloomy corner for a minute or so Because he makes me, unpleasant as it is, take a long critical look at myself, so that I can try to keep myself out of this underground Because he gets to me even if I don t quite get him Because it s not a story, it s a mirror, and you have to work hard to make it not be so.I don t know how to rate this book I did not enjoy it how can you but it made a sizeable imprint on my soul Stars are irrelevant here, so I ll randomly pick something 4 Written in Munich airport, stuck on an unscheduled 20hr layover, with almost no sleep and beginnings of jet lag. Bravo, Dostoyevsky This is the perfect, absolutely accurate and universal portrait of the insecure, self conscious egomaniac pitiful and dangerous, on a negative quixotic rampage against himself, society and the laws of nature he despises but cannot change There are so many of these angry men and women , and they don t speak from the underground any With modern technology, they have conquered the virtual world, spewing out their self pity and hatred in long, inconsistent, frustrated tirades, contradicting themselves at each moment, without thinking I am this or that or no, wait, I was lying, I am that or the other I am going to show them all, slap them in the face Dostoyevsky s misfit is fareloquent than his modern alter egos, quite similar to authors like August Strindberg, darkly misanthropic and full of self loathing, but with a sharp intellect and deep understanding of the world of the 19th century, which is undergoing deep and irreversible change The man from the underground is seriously shaken by the new scientific era, which he intellectually recognises, but hates because it leaves it to his own responsibility to define meaning in life The new individual initiative which is required for success in the modern world is scary and diametrically opposed to the old structure, which gave him an unshakable place and aim What stone wall Why of course, the laws of nature, the deductions of natural science, mathematics As soon as they prove to you, for instance, that you are descended from a monkey, then it is no use scowling, accept it for a fact for twice two is a law of mathematics Just try refuting it It would take Orwellian dictatorship to put 2 2 4 in doubt again, but the man in the underground doesn t, as a rule, stick to his own advice, and he curses and rants against the laws he cannot change, claiming that will give him a distinctive identity He will launch a curse upon the world, and as only man can curse it is his privilege, the primary distinction between him and other animals , maybe by his curse alone he will attain his object that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano key He might of course just have proven that he is a piano key that is capable of cursing, and he knows about the inconsistencies of his arguments They follow him like a thread through all his interactions with other human beings He craves a distinguished position in society, but only manages to show superiority by humiliating and despising the company he seeks, and by subsequently falling into passionate remorse and emotional crisis He can t be part of a group on equal terms because he wants to rise above it intellectually while feeling inferior to it on a psychological level His relationship to women builds on the same oxymoron of romantic idealisation and disgust for reality He despises women for giving the pleasure he craves With the prostitute Liza, he has his final breakdown, losing all inhibitions and all sense of shame, pride and dignity While seeing her helpless situation, her position as a victim of the patriarchal, sexually repressed and morally bigoted society, he still abhors the fact that she has been used like an object by other men, and he can t consider her a subject, an individual, a human with a future any, once she has been sexually active with other men This is so common, so universal, so deeply felt in most sexually repressive, patriarchal societies men force women to be sexually dependent, either within marriage or outside it, and then they blame them for not being pure any As if purity and chastity have to be virtues Once that ancient oxymoron is erased from sexual and religious education, we might see some real change Consent between grown ups would be a good commandment for sexual behaviour, but it would seriously shake the foundation of many marriages It would force many men to be considering ways beyond physical and societal power to attract and keep the devotion of a woman That sounds like work, and like having to leave the egomaniac bubble Our man from the underground wouldn t be up to it So he will fail, and continue to ensnare himself in a frustrating grey zone between desire and shame Just like natural laws stay natural laws, whether you like them or not, sexuality will be there, whether you can deal with it or not Our protagonist can t obviously, like so many other young men brought up in a confused state of mind, with pride and honour as a guideline, and sexual repression and misogyny taught from early childhood, caught in a modern world that offers too many different lifestyles for them to be able to choose, and too few dogmatic guidelines to stick to Being instinctively egomaniac, their antisocial behaviour falls flat in a group and in a democratic environment, and they compensate the vacuum in their mind with illogical, yet powerful rants Don t underestimate the danger of the voices from the underground Dostoyevsky masterfully depicts the scary profile of a lost person, overlooked and ridiculed for his deficiencies, yet with enough anger in his heart to lash out, seemingly randomly and spontaneously We need to have pity, and show respect, and care for those young people caught between modernity and patriarchy, to open our arms and integrate them as best we can We can t afford to let them rant in shame and frustration There must be a place for them to fill over the ground , but they won t take the first step to integrate being emotionally too unstable Give those misfits a place at the table, and they won t have to shout from the underground, they won t have to insult women, they won t have to engage in meaningless, yet deadly duels to save their face Give them a face Like Dostoyevsky gave them a voice from the underground. so I came across this guy at a party that I had known in college, many years ago I remembered him clearly that brilliant, pretentious guy with his stories and his sarcasm and his nihilism our classmates mocked him and so did I, but I enjoyed him too he was a funny fellow, entirely self absorbed, smart and well read and amusingly melodramatic in his comments about the world and his life he wore his pathos blatantly, like some kind of robe or badge or shield I always thought that was brave of him, that naked vulnerability so openly displayed and here he was, many years later, pretty much the same guy except the years had not been so kind to him we struck up a conversation and talked about the old days he asked if I wanted to leave the party and go back to his place, do some drugs I agreed.his place was a dump but my place is little better just cleaner he had piles of books stacked everywhere mine are kept neatly, in bookshelves the place had a goaty smell, and a musty one too, smelling like dust and old food and socks and sweat and semen I keep my windows wide open all the time to avoid those scents we sat on his ratty couch, side by side, and began to do line after line he talked and talked and talked it was amusing at first his spiteful and malicious commentary made me smile such an odd fellow, so energetic in his negative way, and yet surprisingly self aware he talked about how low he was, but that at least he recognized what he was, unlike everyone else, how he was such a worm, an insect, really that s how he described himself, his life so meaningless and his job so mundane and the only things he gained pleasure from were books, people were nothing to him, he was nothing to himself at one point I asked him but what do you do with your time besides reading he sneered and said not a lot, he s online a lot, he likes the anonymity, the ability to speak his mind and tell people exactly what he thinks about them and their world views and their fake happiness and their stupid families and their stupid beliefs and opinions and their stupid way of ignoring how shitty everything really is, they live their fake lives just pretending they are happy, how we are all divorced from life, we are all cripples, every one of us,or less, we are so divorced from it that we immediately feel a sort of loathing for actual real life, and so cannot even stand to be reminded of it, at least he knows the real score, at least he knows how the world works even as he rejects it he opened up his laptop to show me some of his favorite posts and I have to admit that they were sort of funny he had a way with words for sure he also had an enviable collection of porn on his laptop and we enjoyed that for a while, doinglines and laughing about all of the stupid whores in the world and weren t they just pathetic and wasn t everyone just pathetic we stripped down to our boxers because the room was stifling and a person can feel pretty hot when they are doing a lot of drugs and watching a lot of porn at some point I passed out to the sound of his miserable ricocheting laughter, like sad little toy gun bullets popping pitifully.I woke up early the sun wasn t even out I had fallen asleep on his couch sitting up and he had fallen asleep sideways two things creating one perpendicular shape I noticed a part of his leg touching my own leg his naked flesh touching my own bare skin I looked at that connection and recoiled, appalled I jumped up from the couch and he moaned fitfully in his sleep, like a child or someone being tortured I grabbed his laptop and smashed it into his head, again and again, making a red pulp still feeling out of sorts, I went to his bathroom to shower out of the showerhead poured mud, all over me I bathed in the mud like it was water, rubbing it all over my face and body until I couldn t see anyof me LOL what a night 7 of 16 in Sixteen Short Novels 871 Zapiski iz podpol ia Letters from the Underworld Notes from the Underground Notes from Underground, Fyodor DostoevskyNotes from Underground, is an 1864 novella by Fyodor Dostoevsky Notes is considered by many to be one of the first existentialist novels It presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator, who is a retired civil servant living in St Petersburg The first part of the story is told in monologue form, or the underground man s diary, and attacks emerging Western philosophy, especially Nikolay Chernyshevsky s What Is to Be Done The second part of the book is called Apropos of the Wet Snow and describes certain events that appear to be destroying and sometimes renewing the underground man, who acts as a first person, unreliable narrator and anti hero 1972 1333 235 45 1343 19 1369 223 1387 223 9789642575305 1379 6 200 1386 1388 1392 9789644452598 1391 152 9786009299812 1394 546 9786001217760 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 becomebloodthirsty 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 acomical 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 thisandWe 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 anyfrom UndergroundYou 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. Absolutely brilliant and penetrating analysis of human nature in all its vainglorious ridiculousness Dostoyevsky is especially insightful in taking down what I ll loosely call rationalism the belief somewhat popular then and surprisingly popular now that people act in a rationally self interested way, especially if they re made aware of where their self interest lies This book should be required reading for nearly every economics department in the US, where such fantasies still rule the day The character of the Underground Man is like a child yelling the emperor has no clothes , except that he s also an emperor and is talking about himself and making the point that nobody else has any clothes either By the way, I read this in the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation, and while I ve had my quibbles with their work in the past, this is terrifically well done and capturesof the humor than I ve seen in other translations. Shall the world go to hell, or shall I not have my tea I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.Thus Spoke DostoevskyThere were many things for me to get excited about after finishing this novella It s a trap but the first and an essentially timeworn image which appeared in my mind was that of a small child, sitting in a corner after being rebuked by an elder for giving little or no thought about the world with its countless complexities and contradictions around her Now, everything about that image is strictly metaphorical in nature but the important thing is that I felt like a small child Reading philosophical discourses whether in the form of a story or endless ramblings drenched in satirical juices does that to me and Mr Dostoevsky, by way of these notes written by his Underground Man, made me both wriggle and relish in my noetic limitationsBut it is precisely in this cold, loathsome half despair, half belief, in this conscious burying oneself alive from grief for forty years in the underground, in this assiduously produced and yet somewhat dubious hopelessness of one s position, in all this poison of unsatisfied desires penetrating inward, in all this fever of hesitations, of decisions taken forever, and repentances coming again a moment later, that the very sap of that strange pleasure I was talking about consists. Divided into two parts, the first part, Underground is the abode of our unnamed narrator where he engages himself in all sorts of monologues ranging from talks of some really strange pleasures to the inevitable and self imposed sufferings which further leads to the dissection of the human nature in the wake of reasoning, logic, goal, and most significantly, wanting free will All this is provided with a peculiar but apparently rational justifications or I thought they were rational in an unconventional but tremendously comical wayAnd suddenly you hid your faceIn trembling hands and, filled with horror,Filled with shame, dissolved in tears,Indignant as you were, and shakenEtc., etc., etc. It s in the second part,Apropos of the Wet Snow where the whole setting turns biting cold though a sense of relief can be experienced with the presence of scathing satire, charming wit and ingenious story telling Here the narrator opens the door of his past and recounts the outlandish tales of his life which can invoke all sorts of emotions in a reader and also serve as the basis of first part hence rendering a meandering pattern to this work And once you ll get around the whole thing, don t get baffled on finding a part or whole of your personality within the startling words originated from some dark, horrid place The influence of Gogol can be easily observed in these stories and a comfort can be found that Dostoevsky deftly picked up the threads of Russian Literature where Gogol must have left them It s funny that I m drawing out these conclusions after reading one book each by both authors so you can tell me if I m wrong or exaggerating In any case, I was left pleasantly surprised on finding that my preconceived notions were crushed and dusted and a new, although a little confused perspective was gained on contemplating the questions which our Underground Man has asked in this bookI m now asking an idle question of my own which is better cheap happiness, or lofty suffering Well, which is better I m hoping to find the answers in Dostoevsky s chefs d oeuvre Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamzov which I ll surely read soon but till then I need to work on materializing a new and grown up image of myself Books will help.