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5.0 out of 5 stars The Confession of a Tormented Soul, Nov. 4 2000
This review is from: Notes From Underground, Second Edition (Norton Critical Editions) (Paperback)
Notes From The Underground is perhaps one of the most revealing portraits of a great genius that I have read to date. It is where the author lays bare his soul and reveals the conflicts of his heart, conflicts that were to plague him for the rest of his life, conflicts that are reflected in all of his writings.
He was a strange man haunted by contrary of thoughts of fate and redemption vs. freedom and autonomy. And nowhere is this conflict better expressed than in Notes From The Underground. The protagonist is a self proclaimed spiteful man who is intelligent and disdainful of his contemporaries. He is a masochist and in his pain he doubts the validity of the ideal of happiness. He does not believe that life improves. He prefers exalted suffering to shallow happiness. He dreads the coming of the scientific age where he claims man will be reduced to a mere cipher on a page of endless numbers. He asserts that what makes us human is our will to rebel against the facts.
Later Dostoyevsky became obsessed with the theme of redemption through suffering. But this timeless theme fuels his imagination and peoples his novels with unforgettable characters.
So I recommend this seminal novel as a wonderful prelude to reading the great novels which followed in its wake. It is a disturbing book. But it's true to life and to the realism which made Dosstoyevsky the father of modern existentialism and sociology.
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Notes From Underground, Second Edition (Norton Critical Editions)
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