I did two things after finishing with this book.
- 1)Strengthened my resolve to finish Crime and Punishment
and read the rest of Dostoyevsky's works without any inner grumbling.
- 2)Looked up Albert Camus' background and profile on the internet.
Yes Dostoyevsky was one of Camus' influences. If you read Notes from Underground
right after Camus' [b:The Fall|11991|The Fall|Albert Camus|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347280041s/11991.jpg|3324245], it becomes all the more obvious.
Well anyway here's a word of advice.
Do not read this book on a cold, practical day. Do not read this on a day when your mind is too painstakingly slow to register the meaning of words. Do not read this on a day you're feeling cheerful either.
Read this on a day you want to sit in a corner of your room, have a few hours to yourself for contemplation without being interrupted every 2 minutes by a notification on whatsapp or a phone call. Better still switch off your phone, or put it off the grid before reading this book. Read this on a day when you seek intellectual nourishment.
Because most sentences in this book deserve a re-read, then another.
On a day when anything irrespective of how trifle it is, has the capability of setting you off, you might rubbish Notes from Underground
as the ramblings of an unhinged mind, shallow self-justification of a social outcast.
But on a day when your mind is very receptive and free from most forms of negativity the narrator would appear to be a more or less balanced individual (somewhat conflicted maybe) voicing all our innermost thoughts - the undignified, blasphemous, befuddling thoughts that are carefully dissembled in the darkest nooks and crevices of our minds. The thoughts which are not even trendy enough to be glorified in literature.
The thoughts which we do not have time enough to entertain because we're always too busy grappling with the great predicament of 'life'. The thoughts all of us would even label 'immoral'
at certain times.
We take refuge behind our 'busy schedule' excuse to never fully confront life or realize its many complexities.
We live with a terribly flawed understanding of what we really are, what we really aspire to achieve or what is it towards which we're running. We never stop to think of the alternatives believing quite blindly that they do not exist.
I would not be able to say anything more about the book for philosophical ramblings and anecdotal passages cannot be summarized. But what I can say with conviction is that Dostoyevsky's intention has been to make you think and introspect rather than recounting a tale.
So that is why read this book on a day you won't denounce or reject without giving the narrator's opinion a second thought.
And what you must certainly not do, is scoff at its length. Trust me it will take some time to actually get through its pages.