The Devils: (The Possessed) (Penguin Classics)

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9780140440355: The Devils: (The Possessed) (Penguin Classics)

What I am writing now is a tendentious thing, Dostoyevsky wrote to a friend in connection with his first outline for The Devils. I feel like saying everything as passionately as possible. (Let the nihilists and the Westerners scream that I am reactionary!) To hell with them. I shall say everything to the last word. As Dostoyevsky predicted, The Devils, or The Possessed, was indeed denounced by radical critics as the work of a reactionary renegade. But radicals aside, it enjoyed great success both for its literary power and for its explicit and provocative politics; and for its story of Russian terrorists plotting violence and destruction, only to murder one of their own number. Stavrogin s Confession, the section omitted when the novel first appeared, is included as an appendix to this volume."

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The Devils: The Possessed

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'Devils' ('Besy'), also known in English as 'The Possessed' and 'The Demons' is the third of Dostoevsky's five major novels. It is at once a powerful political tract and a profound study of atheism, depicting the disarray which follows the appearance of a band of modish radicals in a small provincial town. Dostoevsky compares the radicals to the devils that drove the Gadarene swine over the precipice in his vision of a society possessed by demonic creatures that produce devastating delusions of rationality. The novel is full of buffoonery and grotesque comedy. The plot is loosely based on the details of a notorious case of political murder, but Dostoevsky weaves suicide, rape, and a multiplicity of scandals into a compelling story of political evil.

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