this is the 16th book i’ve read by fyodor dostoyevsky: my favorite writer. the double was a read full of anticipation of a horrible spectacle.

i’ve become used to dostoyevsky writing style now. however, i’ve only read most of his post-siberian exile works: his more canonically appreciated ones. this book was his second and he received criticism from his peers for such a publication fresh on the heels of the success of poor folk.

however, in disagreement with the critics of the time, i find the novel more flexible in utility and having a universal appeal. the nature of the ‘double’, that the writer explores in detail here, is a prominent trope throughout the rest of his texts, particularly in crime and punishment. the take on the trope here is radically different and portrays the more disastrous nature of having a double.

this work is unlike most of the works of dostoyevsky i’ve read, wherein the buildup is slow and takes time to produce a fantastically destructive denouement. this is a must read for any fan of dostoyevsky: it allows easy understanding of the psychological dynamics of the human mind and the double by deconstructing with the reader the unfortunate case of golyadkin. i’m also moving on to more of dostoyevsky’s initial works now: the insulted and the humiliated is my next read after the master and margarita.

how do you find dostoyevsky? which texts of his are you fond of? i’d also love recommendations for russian classics as well!


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