In 1864, just prior to the years in which he wrote his greatest novels -- Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, The Possessed and The Brothers Karamazov -- Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) penned the darkly fascinating Notes from the Underground. Its nameless hero is a profoundly alienated individual in whose brooding self-analysis there is a search for the true and the good in a world of relative values and few absolutes. Moreover, the novel introduces themes -- moral, religious, political and social -- that dominated Dostoyevsky's later works. Notes from the Underground, then, aside from its own compelling qualities, offers readers an ideal introduction to the creative imagination, profundity and uncanny psychological penetration of one of the most influential novelists of the nineteenth century. Constance Garnett's authoritative translation is reprinted here, with a new introduction.