A groundbreaking new translation of Dostoyevsky’s most radical work of fiction. Introduced by DBC Pierre
‘I am a sick person. I am a spiteful person. An unattractive person, too …’
In the depths of a cellar in St. Petersburg, a retired civil servant spews forth a passionate and furious note on the ills of society. The underground man’s manifesto reveals his erratic, self-contradictory and even sadistic nature. Yet Dostoyevsky’s disturbing character causes an uncomfortable flicker of recognition, and we see in him our own human condition.
“This excellent Canongate Canons edition has an enlightening and entertaining introduction by DBC Pierre … Dostoevsky chips away at complex human motivation with persuasive stylistic tools, succeeding in being hilarious and heart-rending in a single sentence (after all, “mankind is a comical construction”), captured in this beautiful translation by Natasha Randall. It’s through elegantly excavating the particularities of his era that Dostoevsky strikes upon timeless truths, and with perspicacious analysis of behaviour, tunnels through to hidden depths”
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“Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man … is perhaps the greatest reliably unreliable narrator in world fiction”
new York Times
“The most unflinching study of self-loathing in the literary canon”
”Notes From Underground established Dostoevsky’s reputation as the most innovative and challenging writer of fiction in his generation in Russia”
”Notes from Underground is still a modern book; it still can kick”
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky was born in Moscow in 1821. He has written many works of fiction including Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. He died in St. Petersburg on 9th February 1881.
Natasha Randall is a writer and literary translator. Her translations include We by Yevgeny Zamyatin and A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov. Her writing has appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, New York Times, Los Angeles Book Review and more.