Study Guide

Notes from the Underground Allusions

By Fyodor Dostoevsky


Literature, Philosophy, and Mythology

Immanuel Kant, Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (1.2.2)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Confessions (1.3.2, 1.11.7)
Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species (1.3.4)
Nikolai Chernyshevsky, What Is to Be Done? (The title, 1.5.1, 1.7.2, 1.9.3, 1.10.1)
Henry Thomas Buckle, History of Civilization in England (1.7.1)
A.E. Anaevsky (1.8.3)
A.E. Anaevsky, Notes of the Fatherland (2.1.19)
Heinrich Hein, On Germany (1.11.7)
Nikolai Nekrasov, "When from the darkness of delusion" (Part II Epigraph, 2.8.17)
Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls (2.1.6, 2.4.71)
Nikolai Gogol, Diary of a Madman (2.1.7)
Nikolai Gogol, Nevsky's Prospect (2.1.17)
Ivan Goncharov, A Common Story (2.1.6)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Insulted and the Injured (2.1.21): Dostoevsky cleverly and implicitly references his own book when the Underground Man describes his experiences walking on the Nevsky and the way that he has to continually move aside, "insulted and injured by everyone."
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Adolescent (2.2.2): More implicit trickery. When the Underground Man talks about his various fantasies, he mentions, among others, obtaining "countless millions and immediately devot[ing] them to humanity." This is what the hero of The Adolescent plans to do as well.
Lord Byron, Manfred (2.2.2)
William Shakespeare (2.4.71, 2.4.72)
Alexander Pushkin, "The Shot" (2.5.18)
Mikhail Lermontov, Masquerade (2.5.18)
George Sand (2.8.16)

Historical References

Napoleon Bonaparte (1.7.1, 2.2.2, 2.9.9))
Napoleon III (1.7.1)
Attila the Hun (1.7.1)
Stenka Razins (1.7.1)
Cleopatra (1.7.1)
The Crystal Palace, designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, for the 1851 Great Exhibition in London (1.7.2, 1.9.3, 1.10.1)
The Colossus of Rhodes (1.8.3)
Pope Pius VII (2.2.2)
Alexander the Great (2.8.20)

Pop Culture

N. N. Ge, a Russian artist who painted "The Last Supper." (1.6.1)
M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin, wrote critical essay about "The Last Supper" entitled "Just As You Please." (1.6.1)

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