I’m glad you asked for my thoughts about the ‘underground man’. Now that I think, it seems that since I’ve read ‘Notes from the underground’ and even performed it in a sense on stage, I’ve always wanted to share what I feel about him. Personally I would’ve loved to talk about him with everyone I know, but as you must be aware, not everybody has time, specially for the ‘underground man’ (in his entirety) and I think this is the very same thought that devours him. I don’t know if you’ll agree, but I find a stark resemblance in ‘The Ridiculous man’, ‘Meursault’, ‘Jean-Baptiste Clamence’, ‘Poprishchin’ and the ‘underground man’! Their existence lies deep within the gloomy chasms of our mind. They exist in what I would explicitly say ‘our awareness of the futility of life’. Although when ‘Notes from the underground’ starts, Dostovesky himself states that such a person/’s undoubtedly exist in a society, but I’ll go on further to say that in every person their exists an ‘underground man’. Balance is what keeps him hidden deep beneath the veil of sanity. Although often formidable situations falter our balanced walk, that is when curiosity and questions seep in through inevitable fear. Some take a leap of faith in that fear and those are the ones who are able to perceive life as it has never been seen before. Definitions of morality, right and wrong, advantage and self-interest are left behind and they cross the threshold where lies a new meaning and purpose. Success and prosperity are not fostered by the cunning skill to survive rather by upholding what drives the zeal to do. An ‘underground man’ has an acute sense of proportion that seems to take over him, even when he is not in the underground. Veil of pseudo-sanity and balance is shed away completely and he yearns for acceptance, although he knows the unfortunate fact that nobody can possibly comprehend and accord with the hidden contradictions he talks about. And he genuinely acknowledges the false sense of living and survival in everybody that is an impediment in their vision, but that doesn’t mean he cannot loath and pity this ignorance he sees in others, even feel disgusted about it. It is not a grave situation for him, as to whatever exists, whether in ignorance or awareness, he knows its inevitable existence and has accepted it, but all he asks is a co-existence with the prevailing order. But he knows his this desire never be satiated.
Well, I don’t know if this is the kind of take you wanted when you asked for my thoughts on ‘underground man’ or you wanted my take on the book, but I took the liberty of taking your welcoming the way I wanted. I leave you with a poem I wrote specially for ‘The Ridiculous Man’ a.k.a ‘underground man’!
‘Mundane silence speaks on its own,
The irony that we helplessly mourn…
Naked in body and thought I ran,
Announcing the Death Of A Ridiculous Man!!
Solemnly I rise against all odds,
Justifying your long absence with a pregnant pause,
Unbothered souls let go of hope But I can,
‘Coz its a Dream Of A Ridiculous Man!!’
June 18th, 2015