Hi there /lit/, I recently bought a collection of Dostoyevsky's short stories, the book in question contains:
>The Honest Thief
>The Christmas Tree and a Wedding
>The Peasant Marey
>Notes from Underground
>A Gentle Creature
>The Dream of a Ridiculous man
Which ones are worth reading in your opinion? I'm 30 pages into White Nights and already considering dropping it. It just seems like a really banal lovestory about two supposed recluses chatting to each other. Is there anything more to it? Am I a massive pleb? Are his other short stories better?
They're all worth reading; that's a good sampling of Dosto's better short stories. He's got a few other, more surreal/absurd ones that are good too: 'A Nasty Anecdote', 'The Crocodile', and 'Bobok'. Also a couple earlier ones, 'The Little Hero' and 'The Honest Thief' (and maybe 'The Landlady') are decent too. It's too bad in a way that that collection has Notes from Underground and not more short stories instead; they don't get enough attention imo.
as for terms like surrealism and existentialism, how do I learn more about them as a new reader? Is it common for people on here to read essays and the like on books after they've read them, to allow them to take in a more educated dissection of the themes and such? I want to learn to really appreciate literature and abstract value from it, rather than just read the plot.
I would say just take an organic approach at first, maybe looking at something brief like a Wikipedia article here and there for topics that interest you, building up on how terms like these are used and what they represent. One thing I'll say is there can be specific capital-letter meanings for terms that vary from general lowercase usage. (In >>7585747 I was using terms in a more general sense, for example, just saying that those particular stories aren't really true-to-life.) Also sometimes people don't agree fully on what the terms mean or whom they apply to (whether Dostoyevsky is properly Existentialist or is too early, for example).
Thanks for your advice, have a wallpaper anon.
by far the two greatest are notes from underground and the dream of a ridiculous man. PLEASE read the dream of a ridiculous man. it changed my view on a lot of things as a youth, and it is one of Dostoevsky's most powerful works, in my humble opinion. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read it.
It just hit me that on the second night the protagonist, when asked for his life story, proceeds to describe in vivid detail to Nastenka the fact that he wakes crying every morning after having dreamt about his waifu. I wasn't prepared for this.
Thank you too; I can't express how beautiful that wallpaper is. One more thing on Dostoyevsky's short work I'll say is The Double and The Gambler are my favorite novellas of his; House of the Dead is very good too.
I'll keep all of that in mind. I'm reading through White Knights at the moment and it's actually slowly getting better. It's interesting plumbing the depths of such an eloquent autistic's despair.
partly because I find it relateable