Sunday, December 29, 2019

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Notes from Underground (10): Richard Wright & Ralph Ellison

‘Are the underground men in the works of Wright and Ellison given the same psychological dimensions as those Dostoevsky achieves for his underground figure? The answer is “No,” because the latter two writers borrowed only those characteristics from the pioneer that would serve their purposes. Thus, while Dostoevsky’s undergrounder makes a strong case against the dictates of reason and the laws of nature, the underground men of Wright and Ellison welcome both in their attempt to find meaning in their existence.’

SOURCE: Hayes, Floyd W., III. “The Paradox of the Ethical Criminal in Richard Wright’s Novel The Outsider: A Philosopical Investigation,” Black Renaissance Noire, vol. 13, issue 1, Spring/Summer 2013, pp. 162-171. (Revision of paper prepared for the International Centennial Conference, Celebrating 100 Years of Richard Wright, The American University of Paris, Paris, France, June 19-21, 2008.)
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