Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Notes from Underground Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.

Notes from Underground (1864) | Written by: Fyodor Dostoevsky | Published by: Watchmaker Publishing

Notes from Underground (Dostoevsky)
Thug Notes Summary and Analysis

What’s the word B? This week on Thug Notes we diggin deep with Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

This book’s nameless narrator say he one sick mothafu**a. But he ain’t got the clap or anything like dat. The only thing wrong with this fool is he decked out with too much consciousness.

And cuz o dat, this fool miserable and lonely as hell. After philosophozing about man, freedom, rationality and other real talk, our 40 year old recluse start reminiscing bout some sh** that went down when he was in his 20s.

Back in the day, the Underground Man decided to drop in on some old school homie named Zvertov who bout to throw a bangin party. Thing is, ol Undie ain’t tight with any of Zvertov’s crew no mo.

In fact, when they see him lurkin round the party sippin too much sizzurp and actin a fool, they start thinkin “What’s this fool smokin?” They even try to shake him before bringing their sausage fest to the local poon palace. But the narrator steps to these haters and tails em there anyway.

When he arrives, he peeps some rank lookin ho named Liza, takes her to a room, and shows her his Russian Czar, know what I’m sayin?

After doin the nasty, he try to convince Liza not to be turn tricks no mo by gettin all up in her head and messin with her heart.

Later, when the Underground Man kickin back at his spot, Liza rolls in all unannounced. She wanna talk real with him, but all he wanna do is get uppity and preach to her. But eventually, dis fool can’t keep his sh** together and starts weepin.

After tappin dat ass on mo time, he decide he gonna toss her a couple dolla billz to prove that all dat real talk was bullsh** and that she ain’t nothin but a dirty skank. But Liza shows this fool who really got class and tosses that paper before she leave.

Realizing he actin a serious fool, he runs after Liza to beg forgiveness. But she loooong gone.

This book right hur is widely considered the world’s first existentialist novel. Years before Nietzche was jiving his angsty sh**, Dostoevsky was keepin it OG with the creation of the Underground Man.

Ever since the Under-G hit the scene in 1864, righteous playas been using the term “Underground” to spit in the face of the establishment and give all traditional forms of thought a big “fu** you!”

Cuz the Underground Man don’t think like the rest of society. Errybody else is just fumble fu**in their way through life and never askin the big questions. But for our boy, dat sh**’s the dank. And if that’s the way you wanna roll, you gotta open your eyes so wide to the world around you that it hurts.

If you can do that, you playing a whole other game, B. Dat pain you feel when you beefin with reality and get yo sh** wrecked creates consciousness. Like our boy say “suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.” (234)

But barkin with the big dawgs comes at a cost: hyperconsciounsness.

When you can see every angle to a question, you can get so overwhelmed that you don’t know whether to go left or right. So instead of choosing a direction, our man doesn’t do a damn thing.

Sparky reads quote: “An intelligent man cannot become anything seriously, and it is only the fool who becomes anything.” (210)

It ain’t that this fool lazy. He ain’t even that. Hyperconsciousness has made this cat straight up NOTHING. Our boy calls dis “conscious inertia.”

The real joke up in here is that conciousness only comes from the suffering you experience when tryin to connect with other peeps. But when the big C comes creepin through your town, connecting with others becomed damn near impossible. There’s the rub, blood.

And if that seems like a whack paradox to you, it’s all good cuz the Underground Man is a livin breathin paradox. Our unreliable narrator say he love to be isolated, yet he jonesin for human contact. He envies yo erryday playa, but he also proud not to be one. He suffers, yet he finds pleasure in it. All this mess makin him so outta touch with society that lies and dreams are all he got:

Quote: “for we are all divorced from life, we are all cripples, every one of us, more or less. We are so divorced from it that we feel at once a sort of loathing for real life, and so cannot bear to be reminded of it. Why, we have come almost to looking upon real life as an effort, almost as hard work, and we are all privately agreed that it is better in books”

So escape this life, dive in to a good book, and hit me up next week, homies. Peace.

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