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Laurel
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Re: One more thought for the end of Chapter 5



IlanaSimons wrote:
Golyadkin follows his double through the streets, past his front door, right to his bedroom.
He's finally seeing that there's a version of himself that others see but that he's never considered his own.




O wad some Power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: Ch 1 observations

In my experience, this sort of action with money, the spending of money which you haven't got etc., trying to feel 'rich', is one of the symptoms of depression. So perhaps this scene is a harbinger of things to come...




IlanaSimons wrote:
Nice comments--the money counting is such a funny scene. In the beginning of chapter three, we get another dose of he manipulates his reputation in the world of $. He goes to the money-changer and changes all of his bills into littler notes, just so his wallet looks extra fat. Then he runs around to lots of stores promising to buy things, but only so he can promise to buy. All along he's trying to look like "as a man...who has the prospect before him of going to a sumptuous dinner" (24), because he already knows he's going to go crash his boss's party. Half of him knows he'll be sent away at the door; half of him is trying to just play the role of a respected and desired adult.




ELee wrote:
Golyadkin takes out his comforting roll of notes (750 rubles) that he has been in possession of and counted a hundred times since yesterday. He works as the assistant to a chief clerk and lives in a dirty, dusty, dingy, little flat. Where did the money come from?

He does not seem to have any "middle ground". He is either subdued/paralyzed to inactivity, or running and leaping to the next confrontation.

It seems to be easier for Golyadkin to confide in the doctor, who is relatively a stranger that he has only seen once and known of for one week, than any of his other acquaintances...presumably because he is "like a priest" and bound by a code of ethics that will limit him to behaving appropriately.

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 03-05-200708:13 PM




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Choisya
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Re: narcissism in chapter 1

Thanks for this Ilana - my first thought when I read the first chapter was how like Kafka's Metamorphosis it was and then I realised that Kafka wrote later.



IlanaSimons wrote:
Some neat things happen in chapter one. We can read this book slowly.

I’m looking at the first line. The hero wakes up from a dream, but he wakes into a life that’s a nightmare. This opening line influenced Kafka. Kafka started “The Metamorphosis” by having his hero wake up as a bug. Both stories are saying that life is so strange that it’s worse than a dream: It’s an equally disorienting trip with ongoing consequences.

This guy wakes up feeling strange, and you soon get some clues that the “strangeness” is centered on how we look around others. First, the hero looks for an especially long time in the mirror. Then, he pulls out his big wad of money counts it all, feeling extra proud.

Those are two big markers of narcissism: this guy cares a lot about how he looks and how others like his boss speak about him.

Can you add any details, or thoughts on the chapter?


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Choisya
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Re: Ch 1 observations

These are descriptions of a bi-polar disorder (which used to be called man depression) - the manic activity one minute and the utter depression the next. Also the 'out of body' experience of alienation is common to depressives, who often feel that they are 'not themselves'. Again, a harbinger of things to come...




Laurel wrote:
ELee wrote:

He does not seem to have any "middle ground". He is either subdued/paralyzed to inactivity, or running and leaping to the next confrontation.

..........................................

That's the condition exactly. Either lying in the dark in a fetal position for three days and nights or up all night cleaning the house.


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Choisya
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Re: One more thought for the end of Chapter 5 : On not being yourself.

When I was hospitalised with chronic depression, many years ago, I remember looking in shop windows and mirrors and seeing a person I did not recognise. I often used to 'see' my mother or my father and only later realised, when I was well, that I was seeing certain of their characteristics in myself - if that makes sense. A form of 'other worldliness' can oversome a severe depressive due to their heightened awareness in both mind and body. The grass seems greener, the birds sing louder etc etc. You are 'yourself' and yet you are more than yourself. I hope I make some sort of sense. I am not very good at explaining such things - I need ziki!:smileyhappy:




IlanaSimons wrote:
Golyadkin follows his double through the streets, past his front door, right to his bedroom.
He's finally seeing that there's a version of himself that others see but that he's never considered his own.

"The hero of our story dashed into his lodging beside himself; without taking off his hat or coat he crossed the little passage and stood still in the doorway of his room, as though thunderstruck. All his presentiments had come true. All that he had dreaded and surmised was coming to pass in reality. His breath failed him, his head was in a whirl. The stranger, also in his coat and hat, was sitting before him on his bed, and with a faint smile, screwing up his eyes, nodded to him in a friendly way. Mr. Golyadkin wanted to scream, but could not - to protest in some way, but his strength failed him. His hair stood on end, and he almost fell down with horror. And, indeed, there was good reason. He recognised his nocturnal visitor. The nocturnal visitor was no other than himself - Mr. Golyadkin himself, another Mr. Golyadkin, but absolutely the same as himself - in fact, what is called a double in every respect. . ." (52).


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IlanaSimons
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Re: narcissism in chapter 1

[ Edited ]
Yes, and there are even greater similarities between Notes from Underground and "Metamorphosis." Kafka admitted he got ideas for his story from Dostoevsky's Notes, in which the main character explicitly compares his life to that of a bug: alienated, inhuman, depressed.
In "The Double," Golyadkin wishes he could burrow into the ground and disappear, like a bug.



Choisya wrote:
Thanks for this Ilana - my first thought when I read the first chapter was how like Kafka's Metamorphosis it was and then I realised that Kafka wrote later.



IlanaSimons wrote:
Some neat things happen in chapter one. We can read this book slowly.

I’m looking at the first line. The hero wakes up from a dream, but he wakes into a life that’s a nightmare. This opening line influenced Kafka. Kafka started “The Metamorphosis” by having his hero wake up as a bug. Both stories are saying that life is so strange that it’s worse than a dream: It’s an equally disorienting trip with ongoing consequences.

This guy wakes up feeling strange, and you soon get some clues that the “strangeness” is centered on how we look around others. First, the hero looks for an especially long time in the mirror. Then, he pulls out his big wad of money counts it all, feeling extra proud.

Those are two big markers of narcissism: this guy cares a lot about how he looks and how others like his boss speak about him.

Can you add any details, or thoughts on the chapter?




Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 03-08-200702:05 PM




Ilana
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Laurel
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Re: narcissism in chapter 1

Insects are a powerful symbol in The Brothers Karamazov, also, both, as I read it, as purely sensual beings and as the lowness one feels after yielding to sensuality.



IlanaSimons wrote:
Yes, and there are even greater similarities between Notes from Underground and "Metamorphosis." Kafka admitted he got ideas for his story from Dostoevsky's Notes, in which the main character explicitly compares his life to that of a bug: alienated, inhuman, depressed.
In "The Double," Golyadkin wishes he could burrow into the ground and disappear, like a bug.



Choisya wrote:
Thanks for this Ilana - my first thought when I read the first chapter was how like Kafka's Metamorphosis it was and then I realised that Kafka wrote later.



IlanaSimons wrote:
Some neat things happen in chapter one. We can read this book slowly.

I’m looking at the first line. The hero wakes up from a dream, but he wakes into a life that’s a nightmare. This opening line influenced Kafka. Kafka started “The Metamorphosis” by having his hero wake up as a bug. Both stories are saying that life is so strange that it’s worse than a dream: It’s an equally disorienting trip with ongoing consequences.

This guy wakes up feeling strange, and you soon get some clues that the “strangeness” is centered on how we look around others. First, the hero looks for an especially long time in the mirror. Then, he pulls out his big wad of money counts it all, feeling extra proud.

Those are two big markers of narcissism: this guy cares a lot about how he looks and how others like his boss speak about him.

Can you add any details, or thoughts on the chapter?




Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 03-08-200702:05 PM



"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Laurel
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Re: Another thought about Chapter 5



IlanaSimons wrote:
In alienation that leads to suicide, one body is lost.
In this tale, when depression really hits in chapter 5, "our hero" seems to protect himself by doubling up.
Any thoughts?




Interesting thought! I thought he was just imagining things, but then I read chapter 6.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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IlanaSimons
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Psychological insights in Chapter 6

[ Edited ]
Dostoevsky's good at describing subtle ways in which our minds work. Have you ever had a moment in which you made long silent arguments to justify what you're doing? This is how Dostoevsky describes it (Golyadkin is justifying not going to work):

"'I might be taken ill and, very likely, die; nowadays especially the death-rate is so high . . .' With such reasoning Mr. Golyadkin succeeded at last in setting his conscience at rest, and defended himself against the reprimands he expected from [his boss] Andrey Filippovitch for neglect of his duty. As a rule in such cases our hero was particularly fond of justifying himself in his own eyes with all sorts of irrefutable arguments, and so completely setting his conscience at rest. And so now, having completely soothed his conscience, he took up his pipe, filled it...." (54).

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 03-09-200702:23 PM




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IlanaSimons
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More good psychology in Chapter 6

A neat piece of psychology: Dostoevsky shows how we "normalize" ourselves through comparison.
That is, if I do something weird, and don't want to give it up, I might grope for instances in which others have done the same thing, and that way feel fine about myself.
If I get in a fight with my spouse, I might say, "But Tolstoy beat his wife,” and so feel more normal about what I'm doing. Life is an ongoing game of checking-in--of seeing how our acts do or don't line up with other "normal" acts.

Golyadkin does it in chapter 6. He’s just seen his double, and it makes him feel like a freak, like a criminal or a Siamese Twin. Golyadkin normalizes the feeling by spotting other instances of freakery in history:

"Well, it's strange and marvellous, they say, that the Siamese twins . . . But why bring in Siamese twins? They are twins, of course, but even great men, you know, sometimes look queer creatures. In fact, we know from history that the famous Suvorov used to crow like a cock . . . But there, he did all that with political motives; and he was a great general . . .but what are generals, after all? But I keep myself to myself, that's all, and I don't care about any one else, and, secure in my innocence, I scorn my enemies. I am not one to intrigue, and I'm proud of it. Gentle, straightforward, neat and nice, meek and mild” (64).

Thoughts?



Ilana
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Laurel
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Re: More good psychology in Chapter 6

[ Edited ]

IlanaSimons wrote:
A neat piece of psychology: Dostoevsky shows how we "normalize" ourselves through comparison.
That is, if I do something weird, and don't want to give it up, I might grope for instances in which others have done the same thing, and that way feel fine about myself.
If I get in a fight with my spouse, I might say, "But Tolstoy beat his wife,” and so feel more normal about what I'm doing. Life is an ongoing game of checking-in--of seeing how our acts do or don't line up with other "normal" acts.

Golyadkin does it in chapter 6. He’s just seen his double, and it makes him feel like a freak, like a criminal or a Siamese Twin. Golyadkin normalizes the feeling by spotting other instances of freakery in history:

"Well, it's strange and marvellous, they say, that the Siamese twins . . . But why bring in Siamese twins? They are twins, of course, but even great men, you know, sometimes look queer creatures. In fact, we know from history that the famous Suvorov used to crow like a cock . . . But there, he did all that with political motives; and he was a great general . . .but what are generals, after all? But I keep myself to myself, that's all, and I don't care about any one else, and, secure in my innocence, I scorn my enemies. I am not one to intrigue, and I'm proud of it. Gentle, straightforward, neat and nice, meek and mild” (64).

Thoughts?




Neat! This shows that Dostoevsky, even early in his career, was able to get inside people's minds. He really had a great sense of empathy. In The Brothers Karamazov, he gives that empathy to Alyosha.

Your notes are really helping me as I read The Double, Ilana. I just wish I could think of more to say about the story. It's a draw-me-in type of book more than a draw-me-outer.

Message Edited by Laurel on 03-09-200704:25 PM

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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SumayyaA
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 1-6

Hi ELee - Crime and Punishment was the first novel I read by Dostoevsky. I found that by going back and writing down the names of the characters and something to identify the characther helped a lot with my unfamiliarity with Russian names. Eventually you get used to it and no longer need to refer to your list of characters.

Thanks Ilana, for putting down the list of characters here.
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Choisya
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 1-6

Ys, that is a good idea Sumayyaa - many Russian novels carry a list of characters and their diminutives (nicknames) at the beginning of novels because of this confusion. Here are some common Russian name diminutives:-

http://www.doukhobor.org/Commonnames.htm

Laurel may be able to tell us more about diminutives in general.






SumayyaA wrote:
Hi ELee - Crime and Punishment was the first novel I read by Dostoevsky. I found that by going back and writing down the names of the characters and something to identify the characther helped a lot with my unfamiliarity with Russian names. Eventually you get used to it and no longer need to refer to your list of characters.

Thanks Ilana, for putting down the list of characters here.


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Laurel
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 1-6



Choisya wrote:
Ys, that is a good idea Sumayyaa - many Russian novels carry a list of characters and their diminutives (nicknames) at the beginning of novels because of this confusion. Here are some common Russian name diminutives:-

http://www.doukhobor.org/Commonnames.htm

Laurel may be able to tell us more about diminutives in general.






SumayyaA wrote:
Hi ELee - Crime and Punishment was the first novel I read by Dostoevsky. I found that by going back and writing down the names of the characters and something to identify the characther helped a lot with my unfamiliarity with Russian names. Eventually you get used to it and no longer need to refer to your list of characters.

Thanks Ilana, for putting down the list of characters here.







I haven't seen many diminutives yet in this story, but we are dealing here not with children, family members, or close friends but mostly with business associatives, so that is to be expected. "Petrushka," the name by which Mr. Golyadkin calls his valet, is a diminutive for "Pyotr," or "Peter." In chapter 7 Yakov Petrovitch Golyadkin calles Golyadkin junior the familiar "Yasha."
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 1-6

My understanding is that Russians 'diminutise' a lot of things Laurel, not just names? For instance diminutives for water are 'voditsa' and 'vodichka'.




Laurel wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ys, that is a good idea Sumayyaa - many Russian novels carry a list of characters and their diminutives (nicknames) at the beginning of novels because of this confusion. Here are some common Russian name diminutives:-

http://www.doukhobor.org/Commonnames.htm

Laurel may be able to tell us more about diminutives in general.






SumayyaA wrote:
Hi ELee - Crime and Punishment was the first novel I read by Dostoevsky. I found that by going back and writing down the names of the characters and something to identify the characther helped a lot with my unfamiliarity with Russian names. Eventually you get used to it and no longer need to refer to your list of characters.

Thanks Ilana, for putting down the list of characters here.







I haven't seen many diminutives yet in this story, but we are dealing here not with children, family members, or close friends but mostly with business associatives, so that is to be expected. "Petrushka," the name by which Mr. Golyadkin calls his valet, is a diminutive for "Pyotr," or "Peter." In chapter 7 Yakov Petrovitch Golyadkin calles Golyadkin junior the familiar "Yasha."


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Laurel
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 1-6

Or, as we say, vodka.



Choisya wrote:
My understanding is that Russians 'diminutise' a lot of things Laurel, not just names? For instance diminutives for water are 'voditsa' and 'vodichka'.




Laurel wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ys, that is a good idea Sumayyaa - many Russian novels carry a list of characters and their diminutives (nicknames) at the beginning of novels because of this confusion. Here are some common Russian name diminutives:-

http://www.doukhobor.org/Commonnames.htm

Laurel may be able to tell us more about diminutives in general.






SumayyaA wrote:
Hi ELee - Crime and Punishment was the first novel I read by Dostoevsky. I found that by going back and writing down the names of the characters and something to identify the characther helped a lot with my unfamiliarity with Russian names. Eventually you get used to it and no longer need to refer to your list of characters.

Thanks Ilana, for putting down the list of characters here.







I haven't seen many diminutives yet in this story, but we are dealing here not with children, family members, or close friends but mostly with business associatives, so that is to be expected. "Petrushka," the name by which Mr. Golyadkin calls his valet, is a diminutive for "Pyotr," or "Peter." In chapter 7 Yakov Petrovitch Golyadkin calles Golyadkin junior the familiar "Yasha."





"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Choisya
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 1-6

Yes, 'vodka' is apparently derived from the word voda for water because it was originally a mixture of pure alcohol and water.:smileysurprised:



Laurel wrote:
Or, as we say, vodka.



Choisya wrote:
My understanding is that Russians 'diminutise' a lot of things Laurel, not just names? For instance diminutives for water are 'voditsa' and 'vodichka'.




Laurel wrote:


Choisya wrote:
Ys, that is a good idea Sumayyaa - many Russian novels carry a list of characters and their diminutives (nicknames) at the beginning of novels because of this confusion. Here are some common Russian name diminutives:-

http://www.doukhobor.org/Commonnames.htm

Laurel may be able to tell us more about diminutives in general.






SumayyaA wrote:
Hi ELee - Crime and Punishment was the first novel I read by Dostoevsky. I found that by going back and writing down the names of the characters and something to identify the characther helped a lot with my unfamiliarity with Russian names. Eventually you get used to it and no longer need to refer to your list of characters.

Thanks Ilana, for putting down the list of characters here.







I haven't seen many diminutives yet in this story, but we are dealing here not with children, family members, or close friends but mostly with business associatives, so that is to be expected. "Petrushka," the name by which Mr. Golyadkin calls his valet, is a diminutive for "Pyotr," or "Peter." In chapter 7 Yakov Petrovitch Golyadkin calles Golyadkin junior the familiar "Yasha."








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Jimbo1580
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Re: More good psychology in Chapter 6

It pays to be educated in psychology when reading this book because I definitely don't notice all the things you say in the previous posts. Thanks!
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saltydog
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Re: More good psychology in Chapter 6

Jimbo1580 wrote:
It pays to be educated in psychology when reading this book because I definitely don't notice all the things you say in the previous posts. Thanks!




This work was written before Freud developed his hypothesis of the structure of an individuals psychological being, i.e., id, ego, superego, etc. But Freud would probably have diagnoses Golyadkin has having an "alter-ego" that was resulting in a dysfunctional thought process. Of course he would have had to analyzed Golyadkin's dreams first. Jung would have seen an "avatar."

In reading the story I find it difficult to not see Golyadkin Jr. as a discrete individual (one who can be seen and talked with by others beside Golyadkin Sr.). Multiple Personality Disorder has been tossed on the discard pile by the psychiatric community. So, in psychological terms, how is Golyadkin's disorder to be diagnosed?

In today's psychiatric community Golyadkin would probably be diagnosed with a disassociative disorder with underpining of anxiety and paranoia,given a prescription for Prozac. and sent on his way.
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IlanaSimons
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Re: More good psychology in Chapter 6

Here here saltydog.
He could also be diagnosed as narcissistic--thinking all outside conversation and stares refer to him, and highly dependent on his public appearance.

reference

saltydog wrote:
Jimbo1580 wrote:
It pays to be educated in psychology when reading this book because I definitely don't notice all the things you say in the previous posts. Thanks!




This work was written before Freud developed his hypothesis of the structure of an individuals psychological being, i.e., id, ego, superego, etc. But Freud would probably have diagnoses Golyadkin has having an "alter-ego" that was resulting in a dysfunctional thought process. Of course he would have had to analyzed Golyadkin's dreams first. Jung would have seen an "avatar."

In reading the story I find it difficult to not see Golyadkin Jr. as a discrete individual (one who can be seen and talked with by others beside Golyadkin Sr.). Multiple Personality Disorder has been tossed on the discard pile by the psychiatric community. So, in psychological terms, how is Golyadkin's disorder to be diagnosed?

In today's psychiatric community Golyadkin would probably be diagnosed with a disassociative disorder with underpining of anxiety and paranoia,given a prescription for Prozac. and sent on his way.





Ilana
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