Notes from the Underground I remain a bit pissed that Dostoevsky locked up this title Notes from the Underground nearly a hundred years before I was born. Apparently, it would have been the logical title for this Substack newsletter. I use the word “apparently” in full awareness that my using it suggests I either don’t know myself or exert no actual control over my own writing. Both statements are likely true. Do any of us truly know ourselves, even if we try to make a conscious effort to unearth our identities or face the person we see in the mirror? Speaking personally, I know I am a frequent practitioner of self-deception. As for not exerting control over my writing, well that truth is central to the larger purpose of this first Substack newsletter, as I hope I can eventually make clear, as it might be reflective in the title I have settled on in order to give Dostoevsky the space he still rightfully deserves two centuries after his birth: “Organic Matters.” I intend the title to suggest something about the space from which I write, applying the “organic” part of my title, that the ideas, characters, language of my work rises from the native soil of my imagination fertilized by my experiences in shared plots, and that some miracle of germination occurs. I wish also to take on myriad “matters,” wish that in a universe filled with diversity, I am free to roam and experiment and discover unlikely connections while pursing work that might also “matter” in terms of having some usefulness to others. Of course, I might be deceiving myself even in this moment, and my writing comes from and should return to an application of the full title and is “organic matter” of the smelliest sort.