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Ineverland
06-07-2007, 08:53 PM
This will become long and tedious but when I read this a few years ago I could hardly believe how amazing it was (still is).

Dostoyevsky must have been one of the most insightful and intuitive people at that time. The way his central character thought was incredible. It was contadictory and the book was not afraid to expose the darker side of people's personalities. Also, is this just me or is the book intended to be humorous? My parents thought I was crazy for laughing my way through it but I found it had a wonderful touch of mockery in the way it depicted the main character. I am probably being completely ignorant here but I found some parts of the book hilarious. It seemed that he was using a lot of black humour and the part where he gave the example of a man growing to enjoy his toothache was very witty. Have I misinterpreted it entirely?

tudwell
06-10-2007, 02:52 PM
Not at all! Notes from Underground is quite hilarious. I enjoyed the dinner scene, where the narrator thought he was engaging in some sort of intricate battle of the mind when really he was just ruining everyone's dinner. And the idea that bumping into a man on the sidewalk constitutes revenge? It is indeed a very funny novel.

Ineverland
06-11-2007, 03:18 PM
I'm glad it's not just me then!

Do you mean the part where he is walking backwards and forwards across the room all evening?

quasimodo1
06-22-2007, 08:53 AM
I was not long in coming to myself; everything came back to my mind at once, without an effort, as though it had been in ambush to pounce upon me again. And, indeed, even while I was unconscious a point seemed continually to remain in my memory unforgotten, and round it my dreams moved drearily. But strange to say, everything that had happened to me in that day seemed to me now, on waking, to be in the far, far away past, as though I had long, long ago lived all that down.
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

tudwell
06-24-2007, 06:42 PM
Do you mean the part where he is walking backwards and forwards across the room all evening?

Yep. Very, very funny. You always hear people rave about how existential or psychologically deep Notes from Underground is, but I think the comedy is also a very important aspect of it, as it places those more weighty subjects in a ... um ... lighter light.

Turk
06-24-2007, 06:52 PM
Not at all! Notes from Underground is quite hilarious. I enjoyed the dinner scene, where the narrator thought he was engaging in some sort of intricate battle of the mind when really he was just ruining everyone's dinner. And the idea that bumping into a man on the sidewalk constitutes revenge? It is indeed a very funny novel.

I really didn't think at all that NFU is a funny novel, but actually quite sad.

libernaut
07-23-2007, 02:07 AM
i used to relate to it and think it was sad but i realize now i was probably "underground" at the time if you will.

i love how the guy holds a grudge against some random stranger who accidentally bumps into him or whatever and he just dwells on it for 6 months and then gets his revenge.

mcvv09
08-21-2007, 12:28 AM
I am pouring my way through Notes From Underground for the second time, and am enjoying the humour much more the second time. During my first read, I saw the book as unfocused and hated the underground man. My next read has had me frequently laughing at the dark humour that infuses the book. Does anyone else see this book as an inverted version of plato's cave allegory? He can see the flaws in the common man, yet this propels him to dig farther and farther into a literal cave. While he is metaphorically being lifted, he is literally sinking into a cave.

Kent Edwins
04-05-2008, 01:49 AM
I just read this for one of my classes! Fantastic book, but I wonder about my translation. The writing just seemed... passive and bland. Still, I am fascinated by the disconnection the underground man feels, and how he unknowingly works to perpetuate detachment in his own life. So impulsive, yet justifying it all for some strange reason. What a shell he builds around himself!

Saladin
06-26-2008, 02:08 PM
Haha yeah i agree with tudwell. The part where the Underground-man sees walking past another man as some kind of revenge is funny.

Also the part where he wants to be slapped is funny.

jgweed
06-26-2008, 09:20 PM
I have always thought that NFU has parallels with some of Kafka's (more extreme) novels, not the less because both can be very funny.

cheerupfyodor
12-20-2008, 08:17 PM
i read this while my housemate had just undergone a minor operation, the bit in the begining where he describes the man with a toothache....and then wanting to smash your head against the wall...

per-fec-tion.

Shatov
04-13-2009, 07:30 PM
I just read this for one of my classes! Fantastic book, but I wonder about my translation. The writing just seemed... passive and bland.

I'm curious: which translation was it?



As for humour, I like to think of Notes as a caricature. It's a satirical work of Nikolai Chernyshevsky's What is to be Done? as well as a carticature of modern man -- or so that's what Rene Girard says: "many people praise Notes from the Underground without any idea that they
are unearthing a caricature of themselves written a century ago."

All this aside, I think the comic element is extremely important to Notes. It not only makes for a good read, but it helps the reader laugh at himself (if he sees a part of himself in the Underground Man).

whatsername
05-05-2009, 02:44 PM
I have always thought that NFU has parallels with some of Kafka's (more extreme) novels, not the less because both can be very funny.

Yeah I thought the same!

Well the thing is, when the character is in a situation where it's just too depressing then everything seems to be against him which makes it funny (in some way)

Anyway, I really enjoyed the book, from the first page till the last. The whole idea of him ignoring the chance to love and be loved reminded me greatly of one of the stories in Dubliners by James Joyce called 'A Painful Case', so I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading such themes.

Gladys
05-06-2009, 09:20 PM
The whole idea of him ignoring the chance to love and be loved reminded me greatly of one of the stories in Dubliners by James Joyce called 'A Painful Case', so I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading such themes. Mr. Duffy, in 'A Painful Case', does not so much ignore the chance to love as have rather too high expectations for love. Mrs. Sinico, and most others in the city of Dublin, fall far short.

whatsername
05-29-2009, 05:47 PM
Mr. Duffy, in 'A Painful Case', does not so much ignore the chance to love as have rather too high expectations for love. Mrs. Sinico, and most others in the city of Dublin, fall far short.

Yes the characters were given the chance to love and be happy but they both ignored that chance and therefore lived loveless lives after that, that was the similarity I'm pointing out.

Rodya
08-02-2009, 11:51 PM
I laughed out loud many times! NFTU is the first Dostoyevsky I ever read, and since then, I have not read anything BUT Dostoyevsky (I read Notes about 3 months ago). I sat and read it start to finish, sitting outside on a rocky chair, laughing and grinning and then in a flash, becoming pensive. In an instant, I was in love with Fyodor and marveled at his insight.

The part where he talks about his servant, and then stops and says "but enough about him. We will talk of this man, this plague, later." I laughed for nearly a minute at his hatefulness. Looking back, it wasn't THAT funny, it just stuck out and hit the right spot at the right time.

Easily one of my favorites from the Russian master.

Shatov
08-07-2009, 09:00 PM
The part where he talks about his servant, and then stops and says "but enough about him. We will talk of this man, this plague, later." I laughed for nearly a minute at his hatefulness. Looking back, it wasn't THAT funny, it just stuck out and hit the right spot at the right time.

Easily one of my favorites from the Russian master.

You and me both! Notes from the Underground is the only novella I've read close a good couple of times. There's just so much to learn there. I feel it's one of Dostoevsky's strongest pieces because it packs so much into so little.

TheChilly
06-21-2011, 01:57 AM
This will become long and tedious but when I read this a few years ago I could hardly believe how amazing it was (still is).

Dostoyevsky must have been one of the most insightful and intuitive people at that time. The way his central character thought was incredible. It was contadictory and the book was not afraid to expose the darker side of people's personalities. Also, is this just me or is the book intended to be humorous? My parents thought I was crazy for laughing my way through it but I found it had a wonderful touch of mockery in the way it depicted the main character. I am probably being completely ignorant here but I found some parts of the book hilarious. It seemed that he was using a lot of black humour and the part where he gave the example of a man growing to enjoy his toothache was very witty. Have I misinterpreted it entirely?

Thanks to this work and Crime & Punishment, I am two steps closer to proclaiming my love for Russian Literature.

Theunderground
09-09-2011, 11:06 AM
Outside of Hamlet,the antichrist and especially King Lear no piece of literature has ever moved me quite as much and as consistently as dostoevskys novella. The first time i read it i was astonished at how accurately FD seemed able to read my mind, to anticipate my objections,and his hilarious and realistic insight into the 'underground' human condition. To be honest the first section 'notes from underground remains the most exhilirating read ever,and if it wasnt for Shakespeare i would say the most moving as well. Shakespeare cured me of dostoevsky and Nietzsche.