In Notes from Underground, the Underground Man casually dismantles utilitarianism and celebrates in its stead a perverse but vibrant masochism. A Christmas Tree and a Wedding recounts the successful pursuit of a young girl by a lecherous old man. In Bobok, one Ivan Ivanovitch listens in on corpses gossiping in a cemetery and ends up deploring their depravity.
In A Gentle Spirit, the narrator describes his dawning recognition that he is responsible for his wife’s suicide. In short, as a commentator on spiritual stagnation, Dostoevsky has no equal.
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