Gripping new translations of two harrowing psychological novels by the Russian master
The two novels of inner turmoil brought together here mark a turning point for Dostoyevsky, and are among his most personally revealing. The anonymous narrator of Notes from Underground (1864) tells of his refusal to become a worker in the "ant-hill" of society and of his gradual withdrawal to an underground existence. A classic study of human breakdown, The Double (1846) tells of a man haunted by his double-or is it just the fearful side of his own nature? Both are universal testaments of human despair, made vibrant in masterly new translations.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) spent four years in a prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. His novels, including Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov, rank among the greatest of the nineteenth century in any language.
Ronald Wilks has translated volumes by Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Gogol for Penguin Classics.
Robert Louis Jackson is B. E. Bensinger Professor Emeritus of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale.