The House of the Dead Author: Largely ignored at first by his fellow inmates due to his noble blood, he gradually settles in and becomes an avid observer of the new world around him - watching his fellow prisoners being brutally and cruelly punished by the guards, listening to their past stories of blood and murder, assimilating the institution's social codes and learning that even convicts are capable of acts of pure generosity.
As weird and nerdy as it may sound, I enjoyed this book as a portable conversation. I carried it in my pocket on the T for me, like a lot of readers, there's just no excuse for empty time and read it intermittently over the course of a couple months.
It got so I'd look forward to a little tete-a-tete with Professor Steiner amid the din of the trolley cars, heading to my girlfriend's place after a long day of work. Steiner's prose is genteel, measured, with odd Englishy flouri A wonderful book.
Steiner's prose is genteel, measured, with odd Englishy flourishes. He knows his stuff, zeroes in on what he's after, and has a wide range of referential material to support his case.
I'm a sucker for any form of comparative literature, especially but not only when I have a sufficient bit of history with the authors in question. I think the juxtaposition is a fine one- Tolstoy and Dostoevsky have quite a bit in common on thier own merits tormented existential doubts, political obsessions, large canvases, epiphanies, a tendency to didacticism and allegory, "Russian-ness" but the really interesting part is not so much where they differ but where they sort of interweave with each other: Steiner is fascinated by the dialectic between the two writers' pas de deux and wisely decides to gently wind them up and let them go.
Here's the next-to-last paragraph, a gloriously architectured run-on sentence which serves as summation and precis. It's not a spoiler, don't worry, since the basic premise of the book is as easily found on the back cover as it would be pretty much anywhere else in the body of the text.
I'm quoting it not only because I need to quote more in these things but because it's georgeous, spot-on, and powerfully imagined- antiphonal, really. This is my idea of criticism- elegant, erudite, ironic, leaning just this side of lyricism.
For contemporary readers the book's fromand Steiner himself says in a foreward that he would have phrased almost the entire book differently had he written it later I don't know if it's outdated or fogeyish or what, but here it is: You could argue that this is antiquated thinking, and who knows but you might be right, but if this is high-blown critical language I for one am totally in favor.
Your Humble Servant offered some blathering in the comments section. Read, enjoy, and comment!One of Fyodor Dostoevsky's masterpiece novels, Notes from the Underground combines elements of fiction and philosophy in a psychological novel that explores the existential angst of one man in nineteenth-century Russia.
Carefully preserving the original work's acclaimed narrative style and combination of biography, intellectual history, and literary criticism, Dostoevsky: A Writer in His Time illuminates the writer's works--from his first novel Poor Folk to Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov--by setting them in their personal, historical, and /5(6).
Notes from Underground Wm. B.
Eerdmans Publishing Company Fyodor Dostoevsky 5th March Literature & Fiction 50 Comments One of the most profound and most unsettling works of modern literature, Notes from Underground (first published in ) remains a cultural and literary watershed.
Table of Contents: Crime and Punishment The Brother's Karamazov The Idiot Notes from Underground The Gambler Demons (The Possessed / The Devil Fyodor Dostoevsky () was a Russian novelist and short-story writer. Tsar Nicholas I commutes his sentence to penal servitude in Siberia.
but orders this to be announced only at the last minute. which Dostoevsky will react against a year later in “Notes from Underground. the journal publishes “Notes from Underground. a work based on his experiences in Siberia. Jul 27, · notes that "as the subsequent parts of the novel began to appear it acquired the status of a social and public event." A Russian critic of the time, N.
N. Strakhov, later recalled that Crime and Punishment was "the only.