Notes from Underground; the Double (Penguin Classics)

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9780140442526: Notes from Underground; the Double (Penguin Classics)
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‘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.


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About the Author:

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881), one of nineteenth-century Russia’s greatest novelists, spent four years in a convict prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. In later years his penchant for gambling sent him deeply into debt. Most of his important works were written after 1864, including Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov, all available from Penguin Classics.

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Text: English, Russian (translation)

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