Sunday, August 5, 2012
Book Review - The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Whenever I want to escape from the silliness of the world and dive into serious and pondering matters, I always turn to a Russian novel. Ever since I read Crime and Punishment several years ago, I have been mesmerized by the force of words used by the Russians in how they overcome every struggle that they face. And sometimes, I will also face a novel that causes me to question, leaving me with doubt that also satisfies me. That is what Dostoyevsky’s novel The Double was all about. The crux of the story is about a forgettable man named Golyadkin who discovers that he has a doppelganger, one that is not only just like him but eventually takes over his seemingly boring life, leading him down a dark road that leads to a conclusion that is both terrifying and yet necessary. Although The Double is a short novel, Dostoyevsky does not disappoint in asking these questions: Who am I? Am I truly me? What is Man capable of accomplishing and destroying all in one breath? The story, of course, does not answer these questions yet merely toys with them and later adds more questions to question the first set. The Double left me with a puzzled look on my face and yet I felt grateful that I was able to witness one man’s fall from grace handled literally well.