Notes from the Underground is an 1864 existentialist novella written by the Russian author, Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The speaker, an unknown yet common type of man, writes in first person about his views on Western philosophy, as well as his stark analysis of his own life. The work is written as the ramblings of this retired government employee who seems to have a very pessimistic yet honest opinion on his own life, as well as the world as seen through his eyes.
Although purely fictional, Dostoyevsky notes that he created this character because he knows that there are several real people who share this persona and view of society. Composed mostly of ramblings and dark humor, this short listen is divided into two parts.
In the first section, the speaker introduces himself as a spiteful man who may not actually be spiteful. He shares his views on several subjects including doctors, old age, and conflicting emotions. His main focus is his attack on the Western philosophies of Chernyshevsky's views. In the second section, the speaker explains and evaluates certain events in his life. Due to its unique structure and uncommon directness, Dostoyevsky's novella makes for an interesting listen that is still enjoyed today.
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