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The Double: A Petersburg Poem is a novella written by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The novella was first published in 1846. The Double deals with the internal psychological struggle of its main character, Yakov Petrovich Golyadkin. The motif of the novella is a doppelgänger, known throughout the world in various guises such as the fetch.
The Double is the most Gogolesque of Dostoevsky's works; its subtitle "The Poem" duplicates that of the Dead Souls. Vladimir Nabokov called it a parody of "The Overcoat". The story is told in great detail with a style intensely saturated by phonetic and rhythmical expressiveness. The novella centers on a government clerk who goes mad, obsessed by the idea that a fellow clerk has usurped his identity. D.S. Mirsky characterized the story as a "painful, almost intolerable reading".
The cruelty of the story is marked by Nikolay Mikhaylovsky and his madness. With convincing literary power, Dostoevsky depicts the sufferings of Mr. Golyadkin's humiliated human dignity.
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