The Liar's Paradox in Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground

  • Gabriella Elina Imposti University of Bologna, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
Keywords: Liar's Paradox, Extreme Narration, Fedor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground, Unreliable Narrator


In this article the Liar’s Paradox is examined in reference to Dostoevsky’s novel Notes from the Underground (1864). First the concept of unreliable narrator is discussed and examined within the genres of autobiography and ‘confession’, where the narrator not always tells the truth but sometimes intentionally lies in order to obtain the reader’s sympathy and admiration. Then the narrative strategies of the Man from the underground are analyzed and a series of “extreme” narrative devices (Richardson 2006) are identified, such as epanorthosis, denarration, disnarration. All of these narrative devices realize verbally the Liar’s paradox which traps the Man from the Underground into a vicious circle from which it is impossible to exit.


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Author Biography

Gabriella Elina Imposti, University of Bologna, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.
Full Professor of Russian Literature, University of Bologna, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures.


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How to Cite
Imposti, G. (2019). The Liar’s Paradox in Dostoevsky’s <i>Notes from the Underground</i&gt;. Between, 9(18).