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Unregistered
04-12-2005, 06:58 PM
I agree with you. Tolstoy is too obvious and mechanical. Doestoevsky has fire and really fantastic imagery of people.

Pavel
05-24-2005, 06:03 PM
Dostoevsky never ceases to amaze me. If I had my say, he would be considered the greatest of all novelists; greater even that Tolstoy himself. I don't know if I would consider him to be more of a writer or more of a psychologist or a philosopher. Notes from the Underground brings out all three of these. He probed the mind, creating a unique personality disorder--a man of great self-comtempt who has an extremely sensitive ego. He pondered the rational for life--not giving the answers (which is impossible), just posing the questions to us for us to think about. Then he made it into a book which was fun to read. I don't know how he does it.

starrwriter
10-22-2005, 03:03 PM
I think the most important insight in "Notes From Underground" is the paralyzing effect of intellect. The main character thinks too much about everything, which spoils his enjoyment of life. Dostoevsky practically calls intellect a mental disease.

greenburke
12-10-2005, 04:38 AM
I just read Notes from the Underground, I did. Ummm, yah I like the "more direct translation" of the title Memoirs from a Cellar, it sounds cool. I totally agree with you starrwriter, "...thinks too much about life." Over-analyzing, hehe, paralyzing. The underground man showed lots of contradictions that characters in the later books would have. That inner-struggle. Basing your thoughts on what you think everybody thinks of you. The first half, well I didn't like as much, there were those great lines sprinkled through-out, but I'm not as big of fan of garbled philosophy (although I do like the whole first person genre). I don't know if it was just because I had to go slower on the first half, or because in the second half Dostoevesky's character's and stories just, enliven, they just do it. I haven't read Invisble Man for a while, but this reminded me of that. I just started into Tolstoy, and i agree that Tolstoy does seem too obivous compared to Dostoevsky, but I'm still looking foward to the rest. See what Tolstoy has up his Russian sleeve...

EAP
01-30-2006, 03:19 PM
I am reading this thing at the moment. Dostoevsky is a comic genius. Brilliant stuff.

Countess
01-30-2006, 03:34 PM
Actually, he calls "acute consciousness" a disease, which is apart from intellect. I've met many brilliant people who are hardly conscious, if you ask me. They're just computers where you can input/exput data. On the other hand, there are non-intellectual types who are acutely conscious - like me, for instance. I"m mad as a cow and have to take heavy medication to help me not think so much. Otherwise, I go insane from the non-stop stream-of-consciousness that occurs on about 10 different psychic levels.

I like sleep because it is a reprieve from thinking.

Countess

PS: I bow down to Doestoesky but also to Tolstoy. I pray Nicholas Sparks will be taken up to heaven before his time.

Xamonas Chegwe
01-30-2006, 05:05 PM
A friend of mine commented on War & Peace last night: "He spends the last 50 pages summing up what he's already said in the previous several hundred. Was this written as an English essay or what?"

Dostoevsky never needed to "sum-up". He said a lot more in a lot less words than Tolstoy and he only needed to say it once. That's why he'll always be the better writer in my eyes. But they're only my eyes. Everybody has eyes and some are nearly as beautiful as mine. :nod:

Anna Seis
03-17-2006, 08:33 PM
I think the most important insight in "Notes From Underground" is the paralyzing effect of intellect. The main character thinks too much about everything, which spoils his enjoyment of life. Dostoevsky practically calls intellect a mental disease.

I agree with you Starr.
Jacques Lacan said at once that we all live in a "happy uncertainty" condition. Man from Underground does not, and that why he's unsound. He sees into himself and in another people things that we usually don't want to see, and talks about it. That makes him almost unbearable. I don't like to psychoanalize literary characters, but this man, is a clinical case.

Anna Seis
03-17-2006, 08:39 PM
, "...thinks too much about life." Over-analyzing, hehe, paralyzing.

this brings to my mind the Zorba's words: "You think too much, that is your trouble. Clever people and grocers, they weight everything" :D

jackyyyy
03-17-2006, 09:08 PM
Actually, he calls "acute consciousness" a disease, which is apart from intellect. I've met many brilliant people who are hardly conscious, if you ask me.


the paralyzing effect of intellect. The main character thinks too much about everything, which spoils his enjoyment of life. Dostoevsky practically calls intellect a mental disease.

I agree, they are paralyzed from the head up, ridden with acute over-sensitivity. We know people like this and Doestoesky identifies it like a trained psychologist, then leaves you to find a solution.. when the psychologists don't even have one. I think a lot of Doestoesky's design comes from his environment, and I wonder here if he picked on someone he knows very well. Actually, maybe he knows a lot of them.

TEND
06-07-2006, 10:35 PM
I think a lot of Doestoesky's design comes from his environment, and I wonder here if he picked on someone he knows very well. Actually, maybe he knows a lot of them.

Or perhaps he himself is one.

Truthlover
08-11-2009, 09:27 PM
Dear friends,
I finished this book a couple of weeks ago. It only took two or three days to read, in spare time. Perhaps I should have read it more slowly to give it the attention it deserves. In any case, I appreciate this book very much and I would hope the protagonist represents each of us in some way and to some degree. (Is there anyone who thinks he or she has no similarity at all with him?) I would imagine we all have a part of us that is way down inside, and that we protect from others in order not to desacralize ourselves, which would cause emotional disintegration. In my own case, I identified with the narrator most of the time. In my life, the younger years were always threatened by bullies in the schools. I was never good at team sports. As the years passed, I learned to take conflictive people less seriously the more I was able to transcend myself. I started dealing with difficult people by saying to myself: "That's just the way he is," and leaving it at that. The worst thing you can do is expect others to change to fit your own comfort zone. I was neurotic and socially marginalized by others. Today, I have absolutely no concern about what other's think of me, as long as I am not hurting them or myself by my own actions or attitudes; then I would have something to be concerned about. The protagonist of Notes from the Underground appears to me to have missed the fun of living. There is a virtue that Aristotle teaches, which is called eutrapelia, which he defines as "the habit of a pleasant and cheerful turn of mind" (Ethic. IV, 8). He says this virtue is practiced by taking recreation and rest at least for brief moments each day. People who know how to play (homo ludus) usually are able to do much more when they work. Our protagonist, if he had regulated his life with more care to balancing study with playfulness, would not have turned out embittered. Another quote from Aristotle is apropos: "One cannot live for a single day with an utterly gloomy man."