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The Underground Man

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"I am a sick man...I am a spiteful man."  In my opinion, those opening lines from Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground rank right up there with "Call me Ishmael" in the ranks of great first sentences.  I read the book in high school, and it's always stuck with me.  Even though the protagonist is not an adolescent, it reads as an angst-filled, existentialist, adolescent rant.  It's deeply, intensely psychological and WAY ahead of its time.

This picture started as a doodle when I was on a conference call.  I liked the composition, so I re-drew it, this time using a reference for the face (see below; the photographer is the wonderful sandas04, who takes amazing B&W "street" pictures.  Please check his work out).

The title just came to me after I finished the picture. I was trying to capture a feeling of alienation, but the original working title was "facebook".

Done with black ballpoint pen.  Reference photo:
Summer Dreams by sandas04
Image details
Image size
600x741px 321.13 KB
Make
Panasonic
Model
DMC-TZ1
Shutter Speed
10/20000 second
Aperture
F/5.0
Focal Length
5 mm
ISO Speed
80
Date Taken
Aug 15, 2014, 4:56:46 PM
© 2014 - 2021 outsidelogic
Comments12
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sandas04's avatar
So this was his mental state, No wonder he looked a bit worried, Many thanks Clap 
TheOtherKilroy's avatar
This captures the book so perfectly!! Aaah, I love the underground man, somehow this captures his psychological state really well, love love love this. :D 
outsidelogic's avatar
Thank you!  Always good to be appreciated by another Russian lit fan.  Like Crime and Punishment, Notes is really a very modern book, so I think we can illustrate it with very modern images.
TheOtherKilroy's avatar
That's for certain. Your image is very expressive, and as you said, very modern. :) Well done, my friend!
KingOfSoul81's avatar
This is really cool, man.  It's a tad different from the style of work you usually post.  But it's really great.  The floating shapes are reminiscent of pop-up ads and internet windows.  The original title is pretty fitting as well.  Isn't it weird what the artistic mind can come up with when it is semi-preoccupied?  I really enjoy your ballpoint work.   
outsidelogic's avatar
Hey that's a great visual...the pop-up window thing.  That's perfect...maybe it was in mind head subconsciously when I started this.  i was sort of thinking how facebook hides your true character behind a bunch of little bits of conflicting information.  You know, the person is lost among all the data.  I'm guessing you probably agree with that view point :)

Yeah, I need to spend more time letting my mind and hand just wander...
KingOfSoul81's avatar
True, very true.  It only portrays the person you choose the world to view.
Recently I've been wanting to do the same thing.  Just kinda shut my mind off and let my gut take over.  
theTieDyeCloak's avatar
Whoa, such a cool design!  Underground Man has been on my reading list for a long time, this makes me want to finally check it out.
outsidelogic's avatar
Thanks.  I challenge you to find the humor in Notes from the Underground...on second thought, it's probably full of things you could satirize :)
theTieDyeCloak's avatar
Challenge accepted :D
Sasha-Raskolnikova's avatar
Interesting - thanks a lot for your submissions! :)
outsidelogic's avatar
You are most welcome.
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