I was first introduced to the works of Dostoevsky when I was 14. But at that time, I had not the years to understand what I read of them. Yet, they instilled in me deep admiration for him, and a caricature of his ideas. Even today, I remember fragments -- anecdotes, monologues, situations, characters and their idiosyncrasies -- from his novels.

Now at 41 years of age, I am about to undertake a re-reading of Notes from Underground. Knowing what I am about to read from my faint recollection of the material and Dostoevsky's unique treatment, and having been exposed to all kinds of experiences in the meanwhile, and thus having developed a more cultivated view of the world over these years, I must admit to an increased sensitivity and squeamishness for the grotesque. I am now worried whether I should go ahead with the reading or not. Will it mess with my head?

What did it do to you? Say, did Dostoevsky make of you a wise but more feeble mind?

closed as off-topic by Conifold, Jordan S, WillO, Joseph Weissman Dec 6 '17 at 13:31

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  • I think you'll probably enjoy it more now than you did earlier. I read one time that Freud did not like his work, probably because he thought D had too many scruples. But if you keep in mind that this ultimate Christian writer was "atheist" and had to "will himself" to believe he makes more sense. Have you ever read The Devils? (New translation The Possessed)? Critics did not like, but to me it's a masterpiece. Dibilitate the mind? Yes, but in the so-called postmodern world, the effect is generally temporary. Generally. – Gordon Dec 4 '17 at 21:50
  • My friend who introduced me to literature would carry The Possessed with him for a period of time and I have known about it since but never read it. Some ten years ago, I searched for it but couldn't find it by the name. – Water Cooler v2 Dec 4 '17 at 21:55
  • Now that you say this, the new translation may be called, "The Devils"! Anyway it was in the last 5-6 years I think it was published. I have never read this new translation. I browsed it one time at Barnes & Noble. It did have more of a Russian feel to it. It could be under The Demons, Devils or Possessed. Lol. I really got a lot out of this book. – Gordon Dec 4 '17 at 22:10
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    Hi, welcome to Philosophy SE. Please visit our Help Center to see what questions we answer and how to ask. There are certainly many philosophical themes in Dostoevsky's writings but your question does not seem to be about them. This is not the right SE for reading tips or psychological advice, and soliciting personal opinions is off-topic even if the topic was philosophy rather than literature and psychology. You can try asking on Literature SE. – Conifold Dec 4 '17 at 22:22
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    I've tried reading Dostoyevsky years ago but I never really took to it; and I just recently read Shusaku Endo's Silence which covers similar territority - it even has a grand inquisitor in it - which I found gripping and strangely moving given that I'm not catholic. Its encouraged me to think I ought to give Dostoyevsky another try. (Shusakos novel has been made into a recent movie by Scorcese). – Mozibur Ullah Dec 5 '17 at 12:21

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