out of 5
“Diary of a Madman” centres on the life of Poprishchin, a low-ranking civil servant who yearns to be noticed by a beautiful woman, the daughter of a senior official, with whom he has fallen in love. His diary records his gradual, mesmeric slide into insanity. The story portrays the average man’s satirical quest for individuality in a seemingly indifferent, urban city. Throughout the narrative, interludes of lucidity provide striking, hilarious and powerful counterpoints to the deepening psychosis.