Monday, July 1, 2013

Fyodor Dostoevsky - Notes from Underground

"'I am a bored girl. I am a tired girl.' If you preceive that this is mockery of the way Notes from Underground opens, you are absolutely right. If Dostoevsky was trying to attain unto 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,' by Dickens, he comes immeasurable short."

"All I've got right now is Douche. Burger."

"I find it depressing. I'm sure there were some deep thoughts that I carelessly glanced over while reading it. What can I say? These books are best analyzed by those who aren't hopeless optimists like me. :)"

"All I could think of is 'why doesn't this guy just get a better attitude and get on with life?'"

"There are no words for the agony I went through to finish this."

"What a waste of 90 pages. We get it. Everything is meaningless. Human nature is rotten and awful. But if it's all so meaningless, why write about it? There's no point to anything. So why write at all?"

"A whole lotta jibba jabba."

"Ugh! That's all I can say! Ugh!"

"By today's standards, his technical ability to write is horrible ... The writing, to say the least, is amateurish by even the lowest standard. If this were to be written today, it would be patronized by publishers and (if it even made it to publication) by critics for the silly use of language. There is not a single technical description in the entire novel, and sentence structure is 5th grade Essay Contest at best. Are we really supposed to believe this man of intelligence and 'high consciousness' can't write any better than the average 10-year-old? Some will argue that the writing is intentionally bad to show the mental decay of the Underground Man. This argument may be valid, except that in the sections before the Underground Man's mental trepidation are displayed the writing is even worse ... While some of the ideas are cute (though whiney), nothing in this entire section reaches an intelligence level above common sense. This isn't a book you learn something from. This isn't a book that causes you to think about the depth of meaning. This isn't even a character study, really ... I consider it relevant too. To kids in fifth grade. If you're older than that, and this is still insightful to you, I am insulating your intelligence."

"I remind myself that reading a first, whether it's Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, or e. e. cummings, may be a tedious look backward. I don't think this would be published these days because it's not very interesting, but as an early example of its genre and style it was remarkable. From the present perspective, the narrator's whiny, snively, rumination and self-justification is a grating bore."

"A marvelous story put in way too many words just like all books from this era of Russian literature. It's best to read a summary of this book, not the book itself."

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