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The Double: A Petersburg Poem

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  4,955 ratings  ·  270 reviews
This novella, first published in 1846, deals with the internal struggle of its main character, "our hero" Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin (which means "naked" or "insignificant.") The narrator depicts a man whose life and reputation are threatened by the appearance of a double of himself, who tries to claim his position in the Russian bureaucracy and social circle.
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Published January 1st 2006 by ReadHowYouWant (first published 1846)
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B0nnie
I have no desire to meet my doppelgänger. Hell would be a place filled with our own doubles, I think.

There are many literary examples of a double showing up and causing mayhem: Superman. Xander (from Buffy). The Nutty Professor.

Captain Kirk met his double twice, in The Enemy Within and Mirror Mirror.

It always seems to come down to the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde idea: one of the personalities is strong and powerful, and the other kindly, but also too meek and indecisive. There follows a struggle...more
Lori
So I feel really bad giving this book two stars, but I just cannot justify another one. I just can't.

Here's the thing - It's written in such an odd voice! The main character, obviously in need of medical treatment, tends to throw the person's name to whom he is speaking into the conversation wayyyyy too much. It's quite distracting, really. Not only that, but he starts and restarts his sentences constantly. I felt as tho the book should have come with a de-coder of sorts just to be able to under...more
Benjamin
Nov 08, 2008 Benjamin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery and thriller readers
By far one of the most bizarre short stories I have ever read. According to the introduction, Dostoevsky purposefully leaves the boundary between fantasy and reality undetermined. The point of view is always from the main character's mind and like our own minds, his is jumbled, non-linear, and full of thoughts. This makes the story hard to follow and allows for a lot a fun guessing whether the main character is having a mental breakdown or that the world has thrown him quite a curve ball when a...more
Amalie
Things to remember when reading Dostoyevsky's The Double!

(a) Find a decent (if possible, a great one) translation.

(b) Remember D always explores new territories of the human mind so this isn't another book like (not so flamboyant)"Crime and Punishment" or "The Brothers Karamazov".

(c) This has a lot of influence of Gogol in the language and style so it does feel a bit like a odd contemporary nightmare. Tradition of doppelganger started here.

(e) Remember, Golyadkin is a very unreliable narrator...more
أحمد أبازيد Ahmad Abazed
يكتب ديستويفسكي في مسوّدة الرواية :
" المطلوب تغيير العالم فلنبدأ بأنفسنا ... و فكرتي هي أنّه ينبغي تغيير العالم ولكن أوّل خطوة نحو ذلك أن نبدأ حتما بأنفسنا "
و هذا ما اختاره المراهق , فكتب مذكّراته و دوّن ذاكرته بكلّ تفاصيلها و بكلّ ما يملك و يريد من صدق في نقل مغامراته و أخطائه ونزقه و غبائه و أخطائه و أفكاره , لم يكتبها ترفا و إنّما لتكون مرقاته نحو التغيير : " أحسست فجأة أنّني بفضل هذا التذكّر و هذا التسجيل لذكرياتي ربّيت نفسي تربية جديدة " و هذا ما أراده المراهق و ما أراده ديستويفسكي , أن تر...more
JSou
At first, I was going to rate this one 2 stars. After I finished it, I went back and read the introduction (Thankfully, I waited until I was done, since this was yet another one that gave away the whole plot-including the ending in the intro). Though I feel 3 stars is a little to high to rate it, I'll give it a solid 2.5. In the introduction, I read that even Dostoevsky wasn't happy with this novel.

"I wrote a lot of it too quickly, and in moments of fatigue. The first half is better than the se...more
Anna
The Doubleis the last book I finished before officially launching my current fanaticism for George Orwell. But lest it be overlooked, I want to note the worth of this strange little book.

This is Dostoevsky's second novel--following Poor Folk, and previous to the titles that are generally considered to be his masterpieces. It's also written before Dostoevsky's political arrest, his death sentence, his last minute reprieve, and his years in a Siberian prison work camp.

The story follows a painfully...more
Chance
3.5 stars

I read this story in "Notes From The Underground". I have to say I have never read a book that gave me a panic attack before. The dialog can feel a bit claustrophobic. In the end you learn that it is necessary to the story. The story also had me cringing at times due to the carrying-ons of the main character (crashing the party... offa!). You want to feel sorry for him, but...

I do recommend this story but be prepared to get confused. I learned how to skim read over the dialog as it g...more
Hugo Emanuel
"O Duplo" foi publicado quando Dostoievski tinha apenas 26 anos, pouco depois do seu bem recebido primeiro romance "Gente Pobre". No entanto, a recepção deste seu segundo romance esteve bem longe de ser unanimemente positiva – na verdade consta que na altura da sua publicação foi alvo de mais criticas negativas do que positivas – o próprio Dostoievski afirmou mais tarde ter ficado algo descontente em relação á forma da sua obra. Não é difícil perceber o porquê de ter sido tão criticada, embora n...more
Khol0d Atif
هذا عمل من الأعمال العظيمة !.. من الأعمال التي تجعلك ممتنّ للحياة وللأدب وللجمال وللبائع الذي باعك الكتاب..
تصور المراهق رحلة البطل في البحث عن الحقيقة عن اليقين. توهان وتخبط وفوضى عارمة تنتقل اليك حتى تشعر أنك مستنفر وغير متيقن من شيء!
تبدو " المراهق" في بعض أجزاءها بلا احداث تكتفي بالغوص في مشاعر وأوهام البطل وفي بعضها الآخر تتعب وانت تحاول اللحاق بأحداثها
ما يميز الرواية هي الحوارات الثرية الملهمة بين البطل ووالده أو شخوص الرواية الأخرى.. عن الالحاد عن الإيمان عن الانتحارعن الأفكار العظيمة عن ال...more
Robert Farwell
Dostoevsky's 'The Double' is one of those novellas/novels where I REALLY wish I could have read it in the original Russian. His Gogol-inspired novella plays with language, poetry, puns and double entendres are hard to translate adequately (go with Pevear and Volokhonsky for the poetry and avoid Constance Garnett). While patterns still do emerge in translations, they are fragmented and seem often like poor reflections of what the original must be.

After reading this short, early piece of Dostoevsk...more
Utku Türk
Uzun süredir Dostoyevski okumamıştım, o yüzden Öteki'yi görünce hemen atladım. Kitaba ulaşmam ise Freud üzerinden oldu. Freud bir yerde şöyle demiş: "Şizofreninin tanımını yeniden yapmışsın Dostoyevskicim..." Bunu görünce durur muyum tabii, hemen okudum.

Gelelim kitabımıza, kitap 9. dereceden Golyadkin isimli bir memurun etrafında dönüyor. Kendinizi hazırlayın, tüm Rus edebiyatının, bana en sinir bozucu gelen tarafı işte bu: isimler. Türkçe uzun bir monolog okuduktan sonra aniden karşınıza çıkan...more
Angie
Dostoevsky's best short work. It is a deeply disturbing psychological story about the destruction of self in an alienating world. The main character experiences a masochistic anxiety so intense that the only escape is through the creation of another personality. However, Golyadkin's self-hatred runs so deep that even his double must ruin the protagonist's life.
Anna Rohleder
Dostoevsky is a master; never predictable yet always wonderful. What more can I say? Reading him is both a delight and spoils you for lesser entertainments, ie most other books or movies.

What is most interesting about this book to me is its exploration of the shadow in all of its dimensions.
Patrick James
A feverish hallucinatory tale, one you could imagine Kafka writing, yet the novella predates Kafka's earliest works by 3/4 of a century. There is a dark humour to this tale, and moments when I laughed aloud even, despite its harrowing depiction of its protagonist's descent into madness. Or is it merely that? The Double concerns the pathetic life of titular councilor (read: insignificant bureaucrat) Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin who, at the outset of the tale, has been suffering the ignominy of a rec...more
Maria Pallozzi

Diciamo che l'inizio prometteva bene, ho letto molto velocemente le prime cento pagine per sapere cosa avrebbe passato il povero protagonista, il tema dello sdoppiamento della personalità in due figure distinte e coesistenti mi interessa in maniera particolare, così come la contrapposizione tra bene e male. Ebbene il signor Goljadkin un giorno si reca da un medico tedesco e riceve da lui un imperativo: deve passare più tempo in società, o la solitudine lo distruggerà psicologicamente. Ma il nos...more
Michael Nutt
This is a horror story where the hero is also the monster. Something of a companion piece to Stevenson's "The strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde", it predates the Scottish classic by 40 years. Whereas in Stevenson's novel you are in no doubt that Jekyll and Hyde are personae of one and the same individual, in Dostoyevsky's piece everything is much more ambiguous.

What I find so striking about Dostoyevsky's writing is its modernity. It is hard to believe this work is almost 170 years old. The a...more
Dagny
I could only give this one three stars because I found it a shade too long with too much repetition. This almost caused me to lose interest and at one point I dreaded picking the book up to continue reading. The (seemingly) humorous bits in the beginning were fun reading and then the mystery of what was really going on kept me going through the halfway point. Eventually though it all became too much for me as it went on and on. It was saved later as I breathlessly raced to the end to find out th...more
Íris Santos
Um pequeno sumário do enredo:

Iákov Petróvitch Goliádkin trabalha como conselheiro titular numa empresa, tem bom-nome, é respeitado e honesto. Mas toda a sua reputação e dignidade vira do avesso da noite para o dia quando conhece o seu duplo, do mesmo nome. Sem se aperceber, alguém que ele respeitava por ter poucas posses e sem um tecto sob o qual dormir, toma a sua vida como dele, aproveitando-se das semelhanças irregularmente colossais entre os dois.
De maneira abrupta toma posse da vida social,...more
Fatemah88 naQeeb
لم أكملها بالرغم من انغامسي في الشخصيه الأساسيه ، يارب متى تزول عني لعنة القراءات الناقصة *_*
Mohnish
When this book was published 150 years ago, Dostoevsky was accused of plagiarism by his contemporaries, as this book is an amalgam of Gogol's Diary Of A Madman And Other Stories & Nose, it is even considered to be a parody of The Overcoat. It is better to read these stories before getting to The Double so as to discern ulterior influences that Gogol had on Dostoevsky. I though felt, that the similarities were D's way to vicariously pay homage to Gogol. Surprisingly on Wiki I discovered that...more
Nathan
“What?” I said aloud when I finished this book (and many times throughout). It wasn’t shock; it was disorientation. I checked with others who had read it; many reacted the same. At first, this frustrated me. But as I’ve thought more, frustration has melted into fascination.



Dostoevsky, I now think, meticulously drew this reaction with his masterpiece portrayal of a man’s psychological crumbling.



“His nocturnal friend was none other than he himself--Mr. Goldyadkin himself, another Mr. Goldyadkin, b...more
Wejdan AL_Fawwaz
إني ممتنة لهذا الرجل على السعادة التي تمنحني إياها رواياته ..
وعلى تحويله لأيامي العادية إلى خالدة في الذاكرة ..
للمتعة العقلية الروحية النفسية القلبية … للضحك الصاخب … وللبكاء النادر من فرط الجمال …

دوستوفسكي ليس روائيا عظيما وحسب … إنه عالم نفس … مُشرِّح للنفس البشرية … يجعلك تهتف وأنت تقرأ له ب( كم شعرت بهذا ولكن لم أعرف كيف أشرحه أو أجرؤ على الاعتراف به) أو ب( أعرف الكثيرين هكذا) أو ب(فهمت هذا التصرف الآن)… يُنير مناطق معتمة في عقلك … ينقل تقلبات وحيرة عقلك وعقول من حولك … يُحيل بعض غضبك تجاه...more
pearl
May 09, 2011 pearl marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia
So apparently this book gives people panic attacks and is, according to D.S. Mirsky, "painful, almost intolerable reading".

I don't know if I'm ready for another Dostoevsky. It has, after all, been a few years since my last reading of him.

BUT THIS SOUNDS SO GOOD.

/flails
Wael Shaltoot
بهرني في اول الامر تنوع اسلوب السرد لدي دوستوفيسكي ... فهو قلب ميزان الروايه في اولها و بدأ كأنها مذكرات شخص و اودع لي الحق في الإطلاع عليها
... حقا طريق اسلوب تدعو اي شخص حب الفضول لقرائتها .. كأنك تريد ان تعرف اعتراف ما او حياه اشخاص تنظر لهم من بعيد و لا تعرف عنهم سوي لماما .... و بهرني اسلوب و اتخاذ بطل القصه و ليس كأنه شاهد علي الاحداث فقط و لكن هو نفسه البطل الذي اجد نفسي في كل مره استكمل قراءه مذكراته .. ان افاجأ في النهايه بمعلومه عن حياه ما لشخص ما في الروايه و نسيت اني القارئ من بعيد ....more
Richard Ward
Short, early novel by juggernaut of the golden age of Russian fiction, Fryodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881). Explores some of the same themes that he would return to in his later masterpieces, including mental illness, public humiliation, and loneliness. A very good novel, if not great. The ending is perhaps too abrupt, and there are other flaws in the book, I'm sure. Still, worth reading if you are a fan of Dostoyevsky or even if you are not.

In 19th century St. Petersburg, a clearly disturbed bache

...more
My Inner Shelf
Ce livre était dans ma PAL depuis des lustres, j’ai fini par l’ouvrir, en luttant pour ne pas le refermer. L’intrigue est par définition troublante et digne d’intérêt. Les histoires mêlant réalité, fantastique, et semant de préférence le doute, c’est tout à fait mon truc. Toutefois, l’auteur a sciemment fait le choix de faire transpirer l’état d’esprit de son héros, Monsieur Goliadkine, dans son style, et là, on accroche, ou pas. J’avoue que j’ai eu du mal à le finir, d’ailleurs j’ai un peu tric...more
Ümit
Yine incecik ama içi dolu turşucuk bir Dostoyevski, tıpkı Yeraltından Notlar gibi. Sanırım ince romanlarının içini daha iyi dolduruyor.

Güzel olan kısım tek de değil elbette. Çok açıdan ele alınabilecek bir anlatı, bir kere yaratıcılık bu kez yüksek mertebelerde. Dramatik kurguya sahip eserlere biraz fantastik katınca zaten, her zaman güzel olur.

Öte yandan, karakterin içinde bulunduğu çetrefilli durumun en fazla tezahür ettiği nokta toplumsal ezikliği, iş yaşamındaki sıkıntıları. Başkalarınca (y...more
Alexis
I had to return this to the library before finishing The Double in middle school and it had always nagged at me not knowing the ending. There's this part where he goes to pay for a meat pie and the waiter sneers at him and informs him that he ate eleven meat pies, not one. And it's because his double ate ten of them but he can't explain and is very embarrassed. That part stuck with me so vividly that I was surprised to learn how far into the story it actually is considering I barely remembered a...more
Lona
هل تريد أن تذكر لي اسمك رغم كل شيء؟ انك لم تكف عن النظر إليَّ .. كذلك سألني الأستاذ وهو يتقدم نحوي خطوة، مبتسمً ابتسامةً غير لائقة
- دولجوروكي
- الأمير دولجوروكي
- بل دولجوروجي فحسب، ابن قنٍ قديم اسمه ماكار دولجوروكي، وابن زنا لمولاي السابق السيد فرسيلوف ......


هذا المقطع من الرواية تتكرر كثيراً فيها ويكاد يكون أساس الرواية.. .. الرواية عبارة عن مذكرات مراهق لفترة معينة من حياته لا تتجاوز الأشهر، مراهق عاش بعيدا عن أهلة حياة صعبة وذليلة.

مراهق له "فكره" يريد تحقيقها وهي أن يعتزل أهله ومحيطه ويسافر ل
...more
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Synopsis 1 32 Oct 16, 2008 10:15PM  
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3137322
Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky (Russian: Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский), sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, journalist, and short-story writer whose psychological penetration into the human soul had a profound influence on the 20th century novel.

Dostoevsky was the second son of a former army doctor. He was educated at home and at a private school. Shortly after the death...more
More about Fyodor Dostoyevsky...
Crime and Punishment The Brothers Karamazov The Idiot Notes from Underground Demons

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“But what do we have here? First of all, my beauty, my dearest madam, you won't get away with it, you'll be pursued, and then trumped into a convent. And then what, lady mine? Then what would you have me do? Would you have me follow some stupid novels, lady mine, and go to a neighboring hill, and dissolve in tears gazing at the cold walls of your confinement, and finally die, following the custom of certain bad German poets and novelists, is that it, my lady? Then, first of all, allow me to tell you in a friendly way that that is not how things are done, and, second, I'd have you and your parents soundly thrashed for giving you French books to read; for French books don't teach anything good. There's poison in them...noxious poision, lady mine! Or do you think, if I may be permitted to ask, do you think that, say, thus and so, we'll run away with impunity, and sort of...there'll be a cabin on the seashore for you and we'll start cooing and discussing various feelings; and spend our whole life like that, in prosperity and happiness; and then there'll be a youngling, so that we'll sort of...say, thus and so, our parent and state councillor, Olsufy Ivanovich, here, say, a youngling has come along, so on this good occasion why don't you life your curse and bless the couple? No, my lady, again that's not how things are done, and the first thing is that there'll be no cooing, kindly don't expect it. Nowadays, lady mine, a husband is the master, and a good and well-behaved wife must oblige him in everything. And gentilities, my lady, are not in favor nowadays, in our industrial age; say, the time of Jean-Jacques Rousseau is past. Nowadays a husband comes home from work hungry--isn't there a bit to eat, darling, he says, a glass of vodka, some pickled herring? So you, my lady, have to have vodka and herring ready at once. The husband relishes his snack and doesn't even glance at you, but says: off to the kitchen, my little kitten, and see to dinner--and he kisses you maybe once a week and even that indifferently...There's how we do it, lady mine! and even that, say, indifferently!...That's how it will be, if we start reasoning like this, if it's already gone so far that you begin looking at things this way...And what has it to do with me? Why, my lady, have you mixed me up in your caprices? 'A beneficent man, say, suffering for my sake, and in all ways dear to my heart, and so on.' First of all, lady mine, I'm not right for you, you know that yourself, I'm no expert at paying compliments, I don't like uttering all those perfumed trifles for ladies, I'm not in favor of philanderers, and, I confess, my looks are not very winning. You won't find any false boasting or shame in us, and we are confessing to you now in all sincerity. Say, so there, what we have is a direct and open character and common sense; we don't get involved in intrigues. I am not an intriguer, and I'm proud of it--so there!...I go among good people without a mask, and to tell you all...” 6 likes
“These, gentlemen, are my rules: if I don't succeed, I keep trying; if I do succeed, I keep quiet; and in any case I don't undermine anyone. I'm not an intriguer, and I'm proud of it. I wouldn't make a good diplomat. They also say, gentlemen, that the bird flies to the fowler. That's true, and I'm ready to agree: but who is the fowler here, and who is the bird? That's still a question, gentlemen!” 6 likes
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