'The best thing is to do nothing! Better conscious inertia! So, long live the underground!'
Alienated from society and paralysed by a sense of hose own insignificance, the anonymous narrator of Dostoyevsky's groundbreaking Notes from Underground tells the story of his tortured life. With bitter irony, he describes his refusal to become a worker in the 'anthill' of society and his gradual withdrawal to an existence 'underground'. The seemingly ordinary world of St Petersburg takes on a nightmarish quality in the The Double when a government clerk encounters a man who looks exactly like him – his double perhaps, or possibly the darker side of his own personality. Like Notes from Underground, this is a masterly tragi-comic study of human consciousousness.
Ronald Wilks's extraordinary new translation is accompanied here by an introduction by Robert Louis Jackson discussing these pivotal works in the context of Dostoyevsky's life and times. This edition also contains a chronology, bibliography, table of ranks and notes on each work.
'Notes from Underground, with its mood of intellectual irony and alienation, can be seen as the first modern novel . . . That sense of the meaninglessness of existence that runs through much of twentieth-century writing - from Conrad and Kafka, to Beckett and beyond - starts in Dostoyevsky's work' MALCOLM BRADBURY
About the Author
Moscow-born Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) served time in a convict prison for his political alliances, and in his later years his passion for gambling led him deeply into debt. His novels include The Devils and The Brothers Karamazov. Ronald Wilks has translated numerous volumes for the Classics, including most recently Chekhov's stories and forthcoming editions of Tolstoy's stories, and Gogol's stories and plays.
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Comments about Notes From Underground and the Double:
This is one classic that is timeless (aside the references to writers and periods which are secondary)... You do 'feel' the author (the character in first person) close, very close.
Series: Penguin Classics
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: February 2009
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.9 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.26
Edition Number: 1