- Series: Vintage Classics
- Paperback: 136 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (August 30, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 067973452X
- ISBN-13: 978-0679734529
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 490 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $4.67 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Notes from Underground (Vintage Classics) Paperback – August 30, 1994
|New from||Used from|
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Praise for previous translations by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, winners of the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Prize
The Brothers Karamazov
“One finally gets the musical whole of Dostoevsky’s original.” –New York Times Book Review
“It may well be that Dostoevsky’s [world], with all its resourceful energies of life and language, is only now–and through the medium of [this] new translation–beginning to come home to the English-speaking reader.” –New York Review of Books
Crime and Punishment
“The best [translation] currently available…An especially faithful re-creation…with a coiled-spring kinetic energy… Don’t miss it.” –Washington Post Book World
“Reaches as close to Dostoevsky’s Russian as is possible in English…The original’s force and frightening immediacy is captured…The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation will become the standard version.” –Chicago Tribune
“The merit in this edition of Demons resides in the technical virtuosity of the translators…They capture the feverishly intense, personal explosions of activity and emotion that manifest themselves in Russian life.” –New York Times Book Review
“[Pevear and Volokhonsky] have managed to capture and differentiate the characters’ many voices…They come into their own when faced with Dostoevsky’s wonderfully quirky use of varied speech patterns…A capital job of restoration.” –Los Angeles Times
With an Introduction by Richard Pevear
From the Hardcover edition.
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian
Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features:
490 customer reviews
Review this product
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-4 of 490 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In the first (and shorter) part, there are literally _no_ incidents; it consists of a great deal of existential-ish philosophizing and critiquing of society (and of the personality of the narrator, who is never named). Even more, the narrator critiques contemporary scientific utopianism, insisting that, even if human nature were reduced to mathematics, it would still be human nature and perversely inconsiderate of its own best interests; that Man is not a rational animal at all but an emotional animal who demands, above all else, freedom (or its illusion). Man, he says, feels oppressed even by simple mathematics; he wants to be free to declare, when he chooses, that twice two is five.
Determinism, he observes, relieves Man of the burden of guilt; Man, he implies, cannot live without it. Implied but never stated (though apparently it was stated in the original text and removed by Russian censors) is that only through faith in Christ can this paradox be overcome.
The second part consists, basically, of two sequences of events.
In the first, the narrator decides to insult an officer by bumping into him on the street, and eventually does, to no effect.
In the second, he invites himself to a party of farewell for a man he doesn't like, gets drunk and behaves badly, berates a prostitute, and makes an ass of himself in front of his servant.
Really, at the level of plot, that's about it. It doesn't so much end as is cut off, first by the narrator's claim that he will write no more, then by a fictitious editor's claim that he did, indeed, write more, but that there's no point in continuing.
Fortunately, there's a great deal that _isn't_ at the level of plot: deep and detailed analysis of Russian society of the nineteenth century ... which turns out, really, to be analysis not of society, but of the narrator himself, whom we quickly realize is not a reliable or objective speaker. In fact, _Notes_ is a portrait, a portrait of a thoroughly unpleasant and despicable human being; who is, nonetheless, a human being and not some kind of metaphorical cockroach. Even as the narrator demands our despite, Dostoevsky invites us to love him as a perversely damaged image of Christ.
Part I "underground" overwhelms, tediously with rant, still, the reader comes away with a sense of the underground man's misery, frustration, and disgust at life. It is a pure rant with minimal structure. In part II "Apropos the wet snow" we are taken on a - years earlier - 'social encounter' of the underground man. It does not go well - in fact, the reader will now feel, compellingly, albeit without sympathy, the narrator's hatefulness.
Dostoevsky's novels so overwhelm with depth and seriousness that other authors on the list of '100 greatest books' (which I am reading through) can seem well behind. In order NOT to be that reviewer who ‘gushes’ 5-stars at everything picked-up - and because this isn’t my favorite Dostoyevski novel I’ll give it 4-stars (but if my arm were twisted - even a little - 5! ;-).
(translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Publisher: Aegitas April 20, 2017)
I thought the first part was an absolutely brilliant nsight into human nature
The second part is about an angry Russian guy being an angry (and especially miserable) Russian guy. It feels uniquely Russian. I found the second part hard to relate to—probably because I’m not a Russian from the 19th century. But the texture was vivid: I could feel like the spite and the cold wind. Dostoevsky does an amazing job of carefully invoking a vivid image (of something Russian.)