First published in 1846, Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella
The Double is a classic doppelgänger and the second major work published by the author. It is the story of Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin, a government clerk who believes that a fellow clerk has taken over his identity and is determined to bring about his ruin. Considered the most Gogolesque of Dostoevsky's works, the novella brilliantly depicts Golyadkin's descent into madness in a way that is hauntingly poetic.
The Double illustrates Dostoevsky's uncanny ability at capturing the complexity of human emotion, especially the darker side of the human psyche.
"Not one of the author's better-known works, this 1846 novel introduces Golyadkin, a man who one day meets his exact double....Golyadkin's happy life spirals downward into paranoia and neurosis as his friends begin to abandon him for the doppelganger." (
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