Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground is one of the first, and finest, ‘existential’ pieces of literature.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground is one of the first, and finest, ‘existential’ pieces of literature. Published around 1864, the book is a commentary on the human condition as it really is contrasted against various philosophical systems then (and now) under discussion, such as collectivism and nihilism. The book has been reprinted countless times. What makes this edition unique is that it endeavors to provide primary sources so that scholars and academia can access the raw power of Dostoyevsky’s mind.
Included in this edition is the English translation by prominent Russian-to-English translator, Constance Garnett, the Russian text from the original, and, on top of this, a facsimile of the work as published as a whole (rather than in installments in Dostoyevsky’s literary journal, “Epoch”), in 1866.
Thus, both English and Russian readers will be able to explore the biting critique of modern philosophies which anticipated the horrors of the 20th century 50-100 years before those horrors actually unfolded. With various utopian schemes inspired by those philosophies still enjoying wide currency, Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground remains pertinent still to this day.
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