Books
Fyodor Dostoevsky

NOTES FROM UNDERGROUND & THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD

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The House of the Dead is a semi-autobiographical novel, which portrays the life of convicts in a Siberian prison camp. The novel has also been published under the titles Memoirs from the House of The Dead and Notes from the Dead House (or Notes from a Dead House). The book is a loosely-knit collection of facts, events and philosophical discussion organized by “theme” rather than as a continuous story. Dostoyevsky himself spent four years in exile in such a camp following his conviction for involvement in the Petrashevsky Circle. This experience allowed him to describe with great authenticity the conditions of prison life and the characters of the convicts.
Notes from Underground presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man) who is a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg. The first part of the story is told in monologue form, or the underground man's diary, and attacks emerging Western philosophy, especially Nikolay Chernyshevsky's What Is to Be Done? The second part of the book is called “Apropos of the Wet Snow”, and describes certain events that, it seems, are destroying and sometimes renewing the underground man, who acts as a first person, unreliable narrator. It is considered by many to be the first existentialist novel.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–1881) was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher. His literary works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th-century Russia. Many literary critics rate him as one of the greatest and most prominent psychologists in world literature.
561 printed pages
Original publication
2017

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Quotes

    ysafi01has quoted3 years ago
    and that this conclusion is the final solution of all so-called virtues and duties and all such prejudices and fancies, then you have just to accept it, there is no help for it, for twice two is a law of mathematics. Just try refuting it
    ysafi01has quoted3 years ago
    Why, of course, the laws of nature, the deductions of natural science, mathematics. As soon as they prove to you, for instance, that you are descended from a monkey, then it is no use scowling, accept it for a fact. When they prove to you that in reality one drop of your own fat must be dearer to you than a hundred thousand of your fellow-creatures
    arwaya.has quoted4 years ago
    Those who know how to adapt themselves to conditions in Siberia almost always remain there; the abundant and richly flavoured fruit which they gather recompens

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