Notes from the Underground
ebook ∣ Notes from the Underground: Maclay Upper School's Journal of Creative Writing
By Rachel Abbott
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We take the title of this journal from a novella of the same name by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The novella is an existential piece, written before Dostoyevsky's greatest works and before Existentialism had really taken root in literature. The unnamed narrator is frequently named an anti-hero and is described by the note on the back of the Dover edition as a "profoundly alienated individual in whose brooding self-analysis there is a search for the true and the good in a world of relative values and few absolutes." The novella opens with the words "I am a sick man." This is not to say that Dostoyesky's novellas are about art and darkness but rather that this novella and art confront darkness. The powers that be don't like this, but art endures and fights on.