Keren nostaa melankolian politiikan moderniksi prototyypiksi Dostojevskin kellariloukon miehen:
"A modern prototype of the melancholic can be found in Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, whose protagonist forcefully represents the reversal of the rational, enlightened citizen. While that citizen is marked by a readiness to compromise with fellow beings and serve the community, Dostoevsky’s Underground Man feels total aversion toward other human beings and society. He lives his life in a corner, in a mouse hole, and knows that this is a form of existence a serious person could never aspire to change. He also knows that only fools can expect to avenge the punches they take from a hostile environment. Thus, he accepts his hyperconscious existence in the mouse hole: “There, in its nasty, stinking, underground home our insulted, crushed and ridiculed mouse promptly becomes absorbed in cold, malignant and, above all, everlasting spite” (Dostoevsky, 1960, p. 10).
Why is Underground Man writing the “notes”? Mainly because he is bored, he says. Anyone who found himself confined underground for 40 years would look for something to do. He does not wish to be hampered by any restrictions in compiling his notes; he just wishes to jot things down as he remembers them.
'What precisely is my object in writing? If it is not for the public, then after all, why should I not simply recall these incidents in my own mind without putting them down on paper? Quite so; but yet it is somehow more dignified on paper. There is something more impressive in it; I will be able to criticize myself better and improve my style. Besides, perhaps I will really get relief from writing.' (Dostoevsky, 1960, p. 36)"