Monday, November 8, 2010

Notes From the Underground

Life, life...

The intellectual, or, perhaps, "intellectual" life can so easily be a ridiculous one. This is well demonstrated both in my thoughts, past and present, and in the novella Notes from the Underground by the brilliant Russian Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

Notes From the Underground is absurd. The main character is helpless, hopeless: he is right, always right, yet he cannot be right. He cannot be right in his insane and egotistical drives to both distance himself and integrate himself into society. In the end, though he strives for both (to distance himself from the lowly, uncultured people around him and to be respected and admired by them), he is ultimately spurned, though not at all in the way he really desired... Or is it?...

The main character echoes my neurotic and self-destructive impulses from years past. He and I were both given to romantic delusions which led to real-life anti-climatic, absurd events. He and I both abandoned ourselves to passions "outside of our control" when the urge so swept us; we both refused to let go of a twisted paradigm constructed from intense periods of observation, reflection, and cultivation of lower parts of the intellect.

I did enjoy following through on my romantic ideals. Smashing my boyfriends "clubhouse," scraping my legs and arms in the process- "hurting myself even more than he hurt me!" I thought. Allowing myself to be led to all those harsh words, borne of contempt and being largely ignored. It's a lot like the main character's desperate flight to avenge himself in a duel upon the popular , prominent person he so detests (and only because he chooses to).

I like the main character, even if he is outrageous and nonsensical. Sometimes, I miss my romantic delusions... Then they come upon me again and ruin everything and I am quite happy to be largely rid of them again.

2 comments:

analienmind said...

That self-destructive urge fades as you get older.

Lydia said...

It does seem as if it is, but I wonder: does it naturally do so? What if it is retained into adulthood or prevents one from reaching adulthood?