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Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote Notes from Underground in 1864 which is considered to be one of the first existentialist works, emphasising the importance of freedom, responsibility and individuality. It is an extraordinary piece of literature, social critique and satire of the Russian nihilist movement as well as a novel with deep psychological insights on the nature of man.
Dostoevsky’s most sustained and spirited attack on the Russian nihilist movement is voiced by one of the darkest, least sympathetic of all his characters – the nameless narrator and protagonist known as the Underground Man, revealing the hopeless dilemmas in which he lands as a result.
Notes from Underground attempts to warn people of several ideas that were gaining ground in the 1860s including: moral and political nihilism, rational egoism, determinism, utilitarianism, utopianism, atheism and what would become communism.
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