Text and Photo by Nora Vasconcelos
Two years before Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote his famous novel Crime and Punishment, he developed a quite dense novel called Notes from the Underground.
At the beginning, the story takes the form of an essay in which the main character, just known as the Underground man, takes a harsh reflection about his current condition and life around himself.
As the story advances, it creates a weird relationship between the main character and the reader. This conexion becomes something really hard to break, even though the reading gets more and more intense and some times, even painful.
The second part of the book takes more the form of a novel and much more of the elements that make recognizable Dostoyevsky’s style, appear in the story.
This is when the Underground man becomes more cynical, but still quite reflexive about the world around him and how his own life impacts the rest of the world close to him.
When the end of the story arrives, it’s not so hard to feel some relief, but at the same time, some sort of satisfaction for having being able to walk through the whole rough path along with the Underground man, that for several instants gives the impression of being Dostoyevsky himself.
Surprisingly, after finishing this somehow tortuous book, the desire to read Crime and Punishment increases, as well as a refreshing feeling of knowing that at the end of this story, not only the main character, Raskolnikov, achieves some tranquility and peace of mind, but also gets the impression that the very same author reached some kind of sense of completeness while writing this novel.