Notes from the Underground
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The Underground Man became a common character type in many of the works that followed the novella. He is present in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina in the milder form of the character Constantin Levin, in Anton Chekhov's Ward No. 6, Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, Joseph Heller's Catch-22 as Yossarian the 28-year-old Army Air Corps Captain, as Sergio, in Edmundo Desnoes' "Memories of Underdevelopment" and in Richard Wright's short story The Man Who Lived Underground.
Like many of Dostoyevsky's novels, Notes from Underground was unpopular with Soviet literary critics due to its explicit rejection of utopian socialism and its portrait of humans as irrational, uncontrollable, and uncooperative. His claim that human needs can never be satisfied, even through technological progress, also goes against Marxist beliefs. Many existentialist critics, notably Jean-Paul Sartre, considered the novel to be a forerunner of existentialist thought and an inspiration to their own philosophies.
- H&F, July 2013
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