M.M. Bakhtin

The destruction of one’s own image in another’s eyes, the sullying of that image in another’s eyes as an ultimate desperate effort to free oneself from the power of the other’s consciousness and to break through to one’s self for the self alone—this, in fact, is the orientation of the Underground Man’s confession. For this reason he makes his discourse about himself deliberately ugly. He wants to kill in himself any desire to appear the hero in others’ eyes (and in his own): “I am no longer the hero to you now that I tried to appear before, but simply a nasty person, a scoundrel…”

— “Discourse in Dostoyevsky”