Patrick Malahide as The Underground Man

"Really...that's not interesting.   A novel needs a hero."

“Really…that’s not interesting. A novel needs a hero.”

In 1988, Patrick Malahide appeared in “Ten Great Writers of the Modern World” S01E03.  The episode was about Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.  Mr. Malahide plays the Underground Man, and he recites excerpts from Notes from the Underground.  From Wikipedia

Notes from Underground (Russian: Записки из подполья, Zapiski iz podpol’ya), also translated as Notes from the Underground or Letters from the Underworld, is an 1864 novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Notes is considered by many to be the first existentialist novel.[citation needed] It presents itself as an excerpt from the rambling memoirs of a bitter, isolated, unnamed narrator (generally referred to by critics as the Underground Man) who is a retired civil servant living in St. Petersburg.

"Well, we all show off with our diseases.  Me especially."

“Well, we all show off with our diseases. Me especially.”

Bitter and isolated seem to be good descriptors.  Mr. Malahide’s portrayal is immediately engaging but also very unsettling.  He is a disheveled (but still attractive, got to say) mess.  He is wearing some grubby evening wear and appears to be trapped or imprisoned, and his hair has quite the cowlick.  He starts off criticizing himself with determined self-loathing, but he then unleashes his fury to society in general.  It is very compelling.  I wish I could hear him read the entire novella!

 

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