Notes from the Underground Quotes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Notes from the Underground.
This section contains 878 words
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"I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. An unattractive man. I think that my liver hurts. But actually, I don't know a damn thing about my illness. I am not even sure what it is that hurts."
Part I, Chap. I, p. 1

"Living past forty is indecent, vulgar, immoral! Now answer me, sincerely, honestly, who lives past forty? I'll tell you who does: fools and scoundrels. I will say this right to the face of all those venerable old men, all those silver-haired, sweet-smelling old men! I have a right to say it, because I will live to sixty myself. To seventy! To eighty! . . . Wait, let me catch my breath."
Part I, Chap. I, p. 3

"Because, first of all, I am at fault for being more intelligent than anyone around me. (I've always considered myself more intelligent than anyone around me, and, would you believe me, I've sometimes even felt embarrassed by it. At any rate, I've always somehow looked sideways and could never look people straight in the eye.)"
Part I, Chap. II, p. 7

"Ah, if I were doing nothing merely out of laziness! Lord, how I would respect myself then. Precisely because I would be capable at least of laziness, at least of one definite quality that I myself could be certain of. Question: Who are you? Answer: A lazy man." Part I, Chap. VI, p. 18

"Ah, gentlemen, what kind of independent will can there be when it comes down to graphs and to arithmetic, when nothing counts but 'two times two makes four'? Two times two will be four even without my will. Is that what you call man's free will?" Part I, Chap. VIII, p. 31

"I give myself up to dissipation alone, at night - secretly, furtively, sordidly, with shame that would not leave me at the most loathsome moments, that even brought me at these moments to the point of cursing. Already at that time I carried the underground in my soul. I was terrified of being seen, of meeting someone I knew, of being recognized. And I frequented all sorts of dismal haunts." Part II, Chap. I, p. 47

"It was sheer torture, a continuous intolerable sense of humiliation at the idea, which turned out to be a constant and direct feeling, that I was nothing but a fly before all that fine society, a revolting, obscene fly - more intelligent, more cultivated, nobler than anyone else, that went without saying, but a fly nonetheless, forever yielding the way to everyone, humiliated and insulted by everyone." Part II, Chap. I, p. 51

"My office uniform was more or less in order, but I couldn't, after all, go to dinner in my uniform. And worst of all, on my trousers, right on the knee, there was a huge yellowish spot. I knew in advance that this spot alone would robe me of nine-tenths of my self-respect." Part II, Chap. III, p. 68

"The fact is that at those very moments I was more clearly and vividly aware of the revolting absurdity of my imaginings and the entire reverse side of the medal than anyone else in the world could have been. And yet . . . 'Hurry, driver, hurry you rascal, hurry.'" Part II, Chap. V, p. 83

"And yet, let me tell you something about it, about your present way of life: you may be young and good-looking and sweet, with a soul, with feelings, but do you know that when I woke just now, it immediately made me sick to be here with you! A man can come here only when he's drunk." Part II, Chap. VII, p. 98

"Why I would sell the whole world for a single kopek, just so that nobody would bother me. Should the world go to hell, or should I go without my tea now? I'll say let the world go to hell so long as I can have my tea whenever I want it."
Part II, Chap. IX, p. 122

"And what happened was this: Liza, insulted and humiliated by me, understood much more than I had imagined. She understood out of all this what a woman, if she loves sincerely, will always understand before all else. She understood that I myself was unhappy." Part II, Chap. IX, p. 123

"I know, I will be told that this is incredible - that it's impossible to be as vicious and stupid as I was; people may even add that it would be impossible not to return, or at least to appreciate her love. But why impossible? To begin with, I was by then incapable of loving because, I repeat, to me loving meant tyrannizing and flaunting my moral superiority." Part II, Chap. X, p. 125

"Many memories distress me now, but . . . shouldn't I perhaps conclude my Notes at this point? It seems to me that it was a mistake to start them. At any rate, I have felt ashamed throughout the writing of this narrative: hence, this is no longer literature, but corrective punishment."
Part II, Chap. X, p. 129

"This, in truth, is not yet the end of the 'Notes' of this paradoxalist. He could not keep his resolve and went on writing. But it seems to us, too, that we may well stop here." Part II, Chap. X, p. 130

This section contains 878 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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