Title

ECHOES FROM THE UNDERGROUND

Presenter Information

Alexandria Campbell

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

Friedrich Nietzsche notably referred to the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky as, “the only psychologist from whom I have anything to learn.” Dostoevsky’s ability to encapsulate the darkest and most twisted depths of the human psyche within his characters has had a profound impact on those writers operating on the periphery of society. Through research on his writing style, biography, and a close reading of his novel Notes from the Underground I am exploring the impact of his most famous outcast, the Underground Man, on the life and writing of counterculture poet, Allen Ginsberg. Specifically, I explore how his reading of Dostoevsky’s work, as well as the parallels apparent in the lives of the two writers, impacts the poem “Howl”. The Underground Man is present in us all, but in an exploration of both content and writing style, we can make claims as to why his appeal is so strong within the counterculture. Features including a polyphonic voice, multipartite structure, and autobiographical nature provide these two works a link to the disgusted and disenfranchised that is not present in many traditional novels. The paper affirms that Dostoevsky has had a profound influence on the geography of the Underground and that this has had an impact on the writers that continue to inhabit that space.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 15th, 10:00 AM Apr 15th, 10:20 AM

ECHOES FROM THE UNDERGROUND

UC 333

Friedrich Nietzsche notably referred to the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky as, “the only psychologist from whom I have anything to learn.” Dostoevsky’s ability to encapsulate the darkest and most twisted depths of the human psyche within his characters has had a profound impact on those writers operating on the periphery of society. Through research on his writing style, biography, and a close reading of his novel Notes from the Underground I am exploring the impact of his most famous outcast, the Underground Man, on the life and writing of counterculture poet, Allen Ginsberg. Specifically, I explore how his reading of Dostoevsky’s work, as well as the parallels apparent in the lives of the two writers, impacts the poem “Howl”. The Underground Man is present in us all, but in an exploration of both content and writing style, we can make claims as to why his appeal is so strong within the counterculture. Features including a polyphonic voice, multipartite structure, and autobiographical nature provide these two works a link to the disgusted and disenfranchised that is not present in many traditional novels. The paper affirms that Dostoevsky has had a profound influence on the geography of the Underground and that this has had an impact on the writers that continue to inhabit that space.