Notes from the Underground

By Fyodor Dostoevsky
Notes from the Underground cover

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Synopsis

Dostoevsky's Underground Man is a composite of the tormented clerk and the frustrated dreamer of his earlier stories, but his Notes from the Underground is a precursor of his great later novels and their central concern with the nature of free will. Initially musing on his "sickness" and the detested notion of self-interest, the maladjusted and willful Underground Man turns to a series of incidents from years earlier. Scornful of others and of himself, he recounts a party he attended at which, unwelcome, he got drunk and acted scandalously, the visit to a brothel that ensued, and the chance arrival there of love--love which, of course, by his very nature he cannot accept, and so debases.

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