Published in 1864, Notes from Underground is considered the author's first masterpiece - the book in which he "became" Dostoevsky - and is seen as the source of all his later works. Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, whose acclaimed translations of The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment have become the standard versions in English, now give us a superb new rendering of this early classic. Presented as the fictional apology and confession of the underground man - formerly a minor official of mid-nineteenth-century Russia, whom Dostoevsky leaves nameless, as one critic wrote, "because 'I' is all of us" - the novel is divided into two parts: the first, a half-desperate, half-mocking political critique; the second, a powerful, at times absurdly comical account of the man's breakaway from society and descent "underground." The book's extraordinary style - brilliantly violating literary conventions in ways never before attempted - shocked its first readers and still shocks many Russians today. This magnificent new translation captures for the first time all the stunning idiosyncrasy of the original.
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