View Full Version : Missing Backstory in Apropos...

10-31-2011, 09:32 AM
In part one there's a verse where he says how when writing down his "confessions" that people can't even trust themselves to admit something to themselves, then mentions about leaving something out....

So think I found a backstory that was left out, but hinted at in part two.

Missed it the first reading, but upon re reading...

Ferfechkin (school mate during Zverkov's farewell) mentions dePOTment instead of department - I had no clue what that meant, but then learned POThouse seems to be russian slang (or translated slang) for whore house.

He goes there to meet liza because he apparently was there before and expected to meet Zverkov and the group (mentioning when they were heading out "You want to go there" ) like this place has a very important place in their history but is not explained. Also mentioned is a woman Olympia which Zverkov took and the Underground man seems jealous he got her.

So even though it's not told, I can only imagine the Underground man, in his romantic days, fell for this Olympia at this very same whore house he met Liza in the past. She fell for Zverkov's flair and status, but he moved on, because he's a "playa'" and she is after all just a prostitute, and this early moment popped his romantic era bubble.

So this is, it seems to be, the main backstory on why there's tension between Zverkov and not your basic "oh he just hates everyone" motif. Zverkov in a sense pushed him over the edge. The Underground man is EMBARRASSED to write this in his notes and won't confess to us the days when he was a romantic, only alludes around it.

Liza, he sees, as a REBOOT, a chance to re live that moment in his life. It's the only time he becomes a romantic again. He's trying to win Olympia back from Zverkov. If he can change her, then it's like taking Olympia away from a future Zverkov and won't let Liza break some guy's heart like Olympia probably did to the Underground Man.

He is torn about being insulted by her or pitying her but in the end chooses pity - I guess as his "slap" to Zverkov. He has low self esteem and just needed someone "beneath" him for him to have any hope in life. The paragraph about the father and daughter, with the father not thinking her daughter's suitors are worthy, is projection on the Underground's man part as he doesn't deem himself worthy and so, upon learning that Liza has troubled family issues, doesn't have to fear a father figure looking down at him and disapproving.

And when he wakes up the next day, his self esteem plummets, and sees he would be a letdown to Liza, which becomes the self fulfilling prophecy.

Am I reading this part right? In that Liza is an attempted retribution for Olympia / Zverkov? Never seen this discussed in reviews/interpretations