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IlanaSimons
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"The Double": Chapters 11-13

[ Edited ]
How does the end of the story hit you?
Do we grow up or just repeat the problems of our past?
In this space, we’ll talk about the end of the book.

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 03-04-200710:56 AM




Ilana
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PaulK
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 11-13



IlanaSimons wrote:
How does the end of the story hit you?
Do we grow up or just repeat the problems of our past?
In this space, we’ll talk about the end of the book.

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 03-04-200710:56 AM






I was not surprised with the ending. It seemed a logical outcome that G would be taken away.
I also read the B&N Classic introduction and that was very helpful as I missed a lot of the symbolism. There has been some discussion whether the Double was real. I can only conclude that he wasn't even though others saw him and reacted. All that must be in G's head. We actually don't have exact doubles pop up later in life (except perhaps Laurel who seems to be communicating with hers). Also the double unbelievably anticipated all of G's moves.
I thought the introduction made an interesting point that Dostoevsky had the narrator go in and out of G's head and thus blurred the boundaries between G and the narrator. Overall this was a difficult read.
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Laurel
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 11-13

We finished! Now I'm going to get the other one to read the introduction while I sleep.
"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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Jimbo1580
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 11-13

I have a couple questions about the end of the story that maybe someone can help me out with...
1.) Did he really get a letter from Olsufy Ivanonvich's daughter or was that written by himself to himself, or maybe his co-workers wrote it as a joke?
2.) If Jr. does not really exist, who came out to get him from the courtyard and take him into the party? Did he just go in by himself?

I finished the book, but I think I am going to go re-read parts of it.
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PaulK
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Re: "The Double": Chapters 11-13



Jimbo1580 wrote:
I have a couple questions about the end of the story that maybe someone can help me out with...
1.) Did he really get a letter from Olsufy Ivanonvich's daughter or was that written by himself to himself, or maybe his co-workers wrote it as a joke?
2.) If Jr. does not really exist, who came out to get him from the courtyard and take him into the party? Did he just go in by himself?

I finished the book, but I think I am going to go re-read parts of it.




My view would be that the letter did not exist and he went into the party on his own. However I would not trust anything I said about this book.
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Laurel
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Through the Looking-glass

It seems to me that this story could almost be folded in the middle with the second half reflecting the first (or is it the other way around?) I don't have time to check this all out, but at the beginning G goes to see the doctor, and at the end the doctor comes to get him. Twice G sees Jr. coming through what he had taken for a mirror. Can anyone add to this?

"You all know me, gentlemen, but hitherto you've only known me on one side." ch. 3.

"It seemed to Mr. Golyadkin that what was happening to him was somehow familiar." ch. 11.
"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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Re: Through the Looking-glass

Very good comments. In my read-only post above, on reading the book, and in the introduction in the B&N edition, there are some comments on the many two's in this book. Your doctor observation is great. It seems like you've found something meaningful.
We see a bug with its nose pressed to the mirror.



Laurel wrote:
It seems to me that this story could almost be folded in the middle with the second half reflecting the first (or is it the other way around?) I don't have time to check this all out, but at the beginning G goes to see the doctor, and at the end the doctor comes to get him. Twice G sees Jr. coming through what he had taken for a mirror. Can anyone add to this?

"You all know me, gentlemen, but hitherto you've only known me on one side." ch. 3.

"It seemed to Mr. Golyadkin that what was happening to him was somehow familiar." ch. 11.





Ilana
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piihonua
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Re: Through the Looking-glass

I agree with the book being folded in half, I was fascinated with Chapter Four, the portrait painted of our hero who is "almost at the dance". What a pathetic image we have of Golyadkin huddled behind a heap of litter and discarded furniture on the landing of the back stairs to Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat, contemplating entering the party not even thinking of the guests' reaction to this uninvited guest. His inner dialogue, if taken out of this context and placed into another, could even be one of a desperate individual about to make the suicidal leap.
Once again in Chapter Thirteen we return to the same scene outside of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat. "He felt greatly tempted,... by that corner in the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat in which he had once, almost at the beginning of this true story, stood for two hours...".
So everything in between could very well have been a nightmare of our hero's.
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Laurel
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Re: Through the Looking-glass

Good post, Pi, and welcome to the conversation.



piihonua wrote:
I agree with the book being folded in half, I was fascinated with Chapter Four, the portrait painted of our hero who is "almost at the dance". What a pathetic image we have of Golyadkin huddled behind a heap of litter and discarded furniture on the landing of the back stairs to Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat, contemplating entering the party not even thinking of the guests' reaction to this uninvited guest. His inner dialogue, if taken out of this context and placed into another, could even be one of a desperate individual about to make the suicidal leap.
Once again in Chapter Thirteen we return to the same scene outside of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat. "He felt greatly tempted,... by that corner in the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat in which he had once, almost at the beginning of this true story, stood for two hours...".
So everything in between could very well have been a nightmare of our hero's.


"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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piihonua
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Re: Through the Looking-glass

I found Chapter Thirteen to be the sequel to Chapter Four where our hero stands for nearly three hours outside of the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat, he's described by Dostoyevsky as being "almost at the dance". What a pathetic portrait he paints for us of Golyadkin huddled behind a heap of litter and discarded furniture waiting for the right moment to enter the party.
In Chapter Thirteen he returns to the same scene "he felt greatly tempted, we may mention in passing, by that corner in the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovithc's flat in which he had once, almost at the beginnning of this true story, stood for hours..."
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Laurel
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Re: Through the Looking-glass



piihonua wrote:
I found Chapter Thirteen to be the sequel to Chapter Four where our hero stands for nearly three hours outside of the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat, he's described by Dostoyevsky as being "almost at the dance". What a pathetic portrait he paints for us of Golyadkin huddled behind a heap of litter and discarded furniture waiting for the right moment to enter the party.
In Chapter Thirteen he returns to the same scene "he felt greatly tempted, we may mention in passing, by that corner in the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovithc's flat in which he had once, almost at the beginnning of this true story, stood for hours..."




We're not left with a lot of hope for our hero, are we? I wonder if he will keep on going in circles?
"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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Re: "The Double": Chapters 11-13

I do think the letter was imagined.
I also agree with piihonua's post that in between the two scenes in which Golyadkin is standing outside the party, all the interim might have been a dream. He's stuck on this woman, fixated on being in the "in" crowd, and is eventually carted away by the doctor.



Jimbo1580 wrote:
I have a couple questions about the end of the story that maybe someone can help me out with...
1.) Did he really get a letter from Olsufy Ivanonvich's daughter or was that written by himself to himself, or maybe his co-workers wrote it as a joke?
2.) If Jr. does not really exist, who came out to get him from the courtyard and take him into the party? Did he just go in by himself?

I finished the book, but I think I am going to go re-read parts of it.





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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IlanaSimons
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Re: Through the Looking-glass

great post. everything in between the two party scenes might have been a dream....
Dreams do play a crucial role in this book (chapter 10).



piihonua wrote:
I agree with the book being folded in half, I was fascinated with Chapter Four, the portrait painted of our hero who is "almost at the dance". What a pathetic image we have of Golyadkin huddled behind a heap of litter and discarded furniture on the landing of the back stairs to Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat, contemplating entering the party not even thinking of the guests' reaction to this uninvited guest. His inner dialogue, if taken out of this context and placed into another, could even be one of a desperate individual about to make the suicidal leap.
Once again in Chapter Thirteen we return to the same scene outside of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat. "He felt greatly tempted,... by that corner in the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat in which he had once, almost at the beginning of this true story, stood for two hours...".
So everything in between could very well have been a nightmare of our hero's.





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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Jimbo1580
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Re: Through the Looking-glass

Very interesting. I never looked at it like that, but it is definitely a possibility. That is something that I needed to have brought to my attention earlier and maybe I would have some more insight. Thanks!
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PaulK
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Re: Through the Looking-glass



IlanaSimons wrote:
great post. everything in between the two party scenes might have been a dream....
Dreams do play a crucial role in this book (chapter 10).



piihonua wrote:
I agree with the book being folded in half, I was fascinated with Chapter Four, the portrait painted of our hero who is "almost at the dance". What a pathetic image we have of Golyadkin huddled behind a heap of litter and discarded furniture on the landing of the back stairs to Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat, contemplating entering the party not even thinking of the guests' reaction to this uninvited guest. His inner dialogue, if taken out of this context and placed into another, could even be one of a desperate individual about to make the suicidal leap.
Once again in Chapter Thirteen we return to the same scene outside of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat. "He felt greatly tempted,... by that corner in the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat in which he had once, almost at the beginning of this true story, stood for two hours...".
So everything in between could very well have been a nightmare of our hero's.







When I came to the scene where G. was standing outside a party a second time I thought that somehow he and his double would be reunited into one since it was immediately after the first party that he first saw his double. However that is not what happened.
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chadadanielleKR
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Re: Through the Looking-glass


IlanaSimons wrote:
great post. everything in between the two party scenes might have been a dream....
Dreams do play a crucial role in this book (chapter 10).



piihonua wrote:
I agree with the book being folded in half, I was fascinated with Chapter Four, the portrait painted of our hero who is "almost at the dance". What a pathetic image we have of Golyadkin huddled behind a heap of litter and discarded furniture on the landing of the back stairs to Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat, contemplating entering the party not even thinking of the guests' reaction to this uninvited guest. His inner dialogue, if taken out of this context and placed into another, could even be one of a desperate individual about to make the suicidal leap.
Once again in Chapter Thirteen we return to the same scene outside of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat. "He felt greatly tempted,... by that corner in the back entry of Olsufy Ivanovitch's flat in which he had once, almost at the beginning of this true story, stood for two hours...".
So everything in between could very well have been a nightmare of our hero's.






This is really a very good idea indeed !!Thanks Piihonua
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KristyR
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Re: Through the Looking-glass

I'm done!!! I have nothing useful to add - just celebrating!
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Through the Looking-glass

congratulations. reading a book like this can make us feel healthy about our own lives, no?



KristyR wrote:
I'm done!!! I have nothing useful to add - just celebrating!





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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Laurel
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Walter Mitty

I've been thinking of Walter Mitty, lately, partly because my sister has a book coming out in April called "The Secret Life of Walter Kitty" (shameless plug):

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&bnrefer=BRITISHCLASSICS&EAN=97803758...

Perhaps if our little man had adopted the somewhat harmless device of James Thurber's character they wouldn't have taken him away quite so soon.
"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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KristyR
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Re: Walter Mitty

Before I forget to ask, what was all the fuss concerning the German lady? I was hoping to find out eventually, but I must have missed it.
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