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About the book
  • Published: 15 March 2004
  • ISBN: 9781857152715
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $22.99
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Notes From The Underground


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Dostoevsky's most revolutionary novel, Notes from Underground marks the dividing line between 19th- and 20th- century fiction, and between the visions of self each century embodied. One of the most remarkable characters in literature, the unnamed narrator is a former official who has defiantly withdrawn into an underground existence. In full retreat from society, he scrawls a passionate, obsessive, self-contradictory narrative that serves as a devastating attack on social utopianism and an assertion of man's essentially irrational nature.

Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, whose Dostoevsky translations have become the standard, give us a brilliantly faithful edition of this classic novel, conveying all the tragedy and tormented comedy of the original.

Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation is the only translation that counts. They are the only translators who succeed in making Dostoevsky accessible to a 21st century audience, thanks to their ruthless attention to detail at the expense of alterations which can dilute Dostoevsky's unique and flowing style of writing. The great appeal this book retains even today is in part due to Pevear and Volokhonsky, as well as to Dostoevsky himself. Furthermore, Richard Pevear's substantial introduction is essential reading. It explains the purpose of the book and the historical significance of its ideas. Dostoevsky was writing at a time when Russia had reason to be optimistic, but the warning signs in his fiction perhaps leave us clues as to why Russia still has social problems today - and why, less than 40 years after Dostoevsky's death, Russia embraced Communism and destroyed the society in which Dostoevsky had lived

  • Pub date: 15 March 2004
  • ISBN: 9781857152715
  • Imprint: Everyman
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 160
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fyodor Dostoevsky was born in Moscow on 11th November 1821. He had six siblings and his mother died in 1837 and his father in 1839. He graduated from the St Petersburg Academy of Military Engineering in 1846 but decided to change careers and become a writer. His first book, Poor Folk, did very well but on 23rd April 1849 he was arrested for subversion and sentenced to death. After a mock-execution his sentence was commuted to hard labour in Siberia where he developed epilepsy.He was released in 1854. His 1860 book, The House of the Dead was based on these experiences. In 1857 he married Maria Dmitrievna Isaeva. After his release he adopted more conservative and traditional values and rejected his previous socialist position. In the following years he spent a lot of time abroad, struggled with an addiction to gambling and fell deeply in debt. His wife died in 1864 and he married Anna Grigoryeva Snitkina. In the following years he published his most enduring and successful books, including Crime and Punishment (1865). He died on 9th February 1881

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