Yakov Petrovich, Yakov Petrovich!

September 24, 2015 § 1 Comment

thedouble2Dear reader, let me lay before you the facts surrounding this matter; I am not a man to speak in a roundabout manner, but in fact one who employs lucid, direct and clear language. Yes dear reader, I speak in clear and forthright terms; let me lay before you the facts; the facts as they are dear reader. It is those that wish to deceive, wish to weave webs of intricacies, that wish to conspire that use unclear, ambiguous words. But upon my honour dear reader I, of noble stock, shall do no such thing, for it would be a stain upon my honour and my name, the honour and name of my family, the honour and names of my distinguished colleagues, indeed upon my class to sink to such depravity. Ech! it is a bad business dear reader; that is I mean to say, this of speaking in a roundabout fashion, and I continue to address you dear reader if it has failed your notice, but it is my duty to lay before you the facts and give an honest appraisal; a true account; a veritable review.

If the above paragraph was enough to test your patience, then you’ll likely find yourself gnashing your teeth whilst reading The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Where mere mention of the name Dostoyevsky inspires most with a feeling of dread; a presentiment of heavy, complex, and intricate plots to follow, I found The Double to be a fairly straightforward and humourous tale. The humour arises from the rambling, incoherent manner of Golyadkin’s speech, see above. The hero lacks a filter between his brain and mouth and so spews forth whatever pops in his head. Combine that with his insecure, anxious; on the verge-of-mental breakdown personality, and his words become complete gibberish.

As Mr. Golyadkin struggles with the appearance of his doppelganger, the new Mr. Golyadkin woos ands charms all; succeeds in matters where the original is but a mediocrity. The denouement is fitting but hardly surprising, and rest assured that typical Dostoyevsky-ean themes are to be found within this novella. Indeed The Double set the tone for the major works to follow.

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