Notes from the Underground



Author:Dostoevsky, Fyodor (1821-1881)
Description:Many consider Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground the first existentialist novel. The narrator and main character, often called “the Underground Man,” is a bitter, misanthropic retiree living in St. Petersburg. He lives each day in constant physical and psychological pain. He has no job and lives entirely off of his retirement funds. A bad tooth and an aching liver make it difficult for him to do anything but stay at home and write “notes” about his ennui and suffering. The Underground Man shares moments from his past, and through them, he explains how he came to despise both himself and other people. Masterfully, Dostoevsky immerses the reader in the dark, but fascinating, mind of his narrator. Notes from the Underground remains one of the great Russian novelist’s most popular works and is one of the most widely-read and influential works of classic literature of the last century.

Kathleen O’Bannon
CCEL Staff
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