TA0118: Notes from the Underground

Notes from the Underground

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Michael Scott

It is no wonder that Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Notes from the Underground was at the forefront of Existentialism. It is difficult to get past the main character’s anti-social, antagonistic personality at first. They were then, as they are now, seen as deviant and destructive characteristics exhibited for no other reason than to wreak havoc on those around him. However, reading past his persona lies a deeper and more abstract version of the early industrial revolution’s impact on people living in the emerging cities of that time. The character reflects his alienating environment rather than a destructive personality. The themes of the story reflect the destruction of values educated people at the time cherished, and now missing with the advent of the loss of individuality and identity. The core value the story unveils is nature and prevention THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS ADVANTAGE. The emergence of science threatens a person’s Free Will, and when lost, the destructive means taken to retrieve individuality over scientific understanding of the nature of people.

We undertook the adaptation of Notes from the Underground to clean away the tangential distractions in expression, and to reveal the story in a more understandable way. We did not change the meaning of essential thoughts of the main character but enhanced the readability of the story. We felt the often confusing grammatical structure is why so many people walked away from the novel with an unsavory taste or in an overall confusion of the deeper issues. Notes from the Underground is a modern story still taking place today. Modern mental ailments, addictions, and violence have a large part of their source in people living in a modern underground.

There are two parts to Notes from the Underground. We produced Part I because we felt it conveyed more of  Dostoyevsky’s theory. Part II delves more into the character’s lonesomeness and alienation that sadly expresses itself in situational interactions with people. We have queued the production of Part II and hope to have it available online soon.


ThoughtAudio PDF Transcript: TA0118_NotesfromtheUnderground_FyodorDostoyevsky.pdf


Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Dostoyevsky was a Russian novelist and philosopher, whose works explore human psychology in the troubled political, social, and spiritual atmosphere of 19th century Russia. In addition to Notes from the Underground, his other popular works include Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, and Demons.