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Encyclopedia > The Devils (novel)
Demons
Pevear & Volokhonsky Translation of Demons
Author Fyodor Dostoevsky
Original title (if not in English) Бесы
Translator Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky
Cover Artist Lynd Ward (from Gods' Man)
Country Russia
Language Russian; English
Genre(s) Philosophical novel
Publisher Vintage Classics
Released August 1995
Media Type Paperback
Pages 733 pp
ISBN ISBN 0-679-73451-1

For the theatrical adaptation by Albert Camus, see The Possessed (play). This image is a book cover. ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, Fëdor Mihajlovič Dostoevskij, sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821 – February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) is considered one of the greatest Russian writers, whose works have had a profound and lasting effect on twentieth-century fiction. ... Richard Pevear is an American-born poet and translator who frequently collaborates with his wife, Larissa Volokhonsky, on translations of Russian novels. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Philosophical novels are works of fiction in which a significant proportion of the novel is devoted to a discussion of the sort of questions normally addressed in discursive philosophy. ... Albert Camus (pronounced ) (November 7, 1913 – January 4, 1960) was a French author and philosopher. ... The Possessed ( in French Les Possédés) is a play written by Albert Camus in 1959. ...



The Devils (In Russian: Бесы, tr. Besi) , also translated as Demons or The Possessed, is a 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The Possessed is an earlier translation, made famous by Constance Garnett's version, but is somewhat inaccurate; the original Russian title refers to the demoniac possessors rather than the possessed. 1872 (MDCCCLXXII) was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Daniel Defoes Robinson Crusoe; title page of 1719 newspaper edition A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended fictional narrative in prose. ... Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Russian: Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, Fëdor Mihajlovič Dostoevskij, sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky ) (November 11 [O.S. October 30] 1821 – February 9 [O.S. January 28] 1881) is considered one of the greatest Russian writers, whose works have had a profound and lasting effect on twentieth-century fiction. ... Constance Garnett (née Black) (December 19, 1861 - December 17, 1946) was an English translator whose translations of nineteenth-century Russian classics first introduced them on a wide basis to the English public. ...


An extremely political book, it is a testimonial of life in Imperial Russia in the late 19th century. Politics is a process by which decisions are made within groups. ... Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last tsar, at the start... Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ...


As the revolutionary democrats begin to rise in Russia, different ideologies begin to collide. All of them are exposed in this book, where Dostoevsky shows his disgust for the left-wing idealists. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Democracy (literally rule by the people, from the Greek demos, people, and kratos, rule) is a form of government for a nation state, or for an organization in which all the citizens have a vote or voice in shaping policy. ... In politics, left-wing, political left, leftism, or simply the left, are terms which refer (with no particular precision) to the segment of the political spectrum typically associated with any of several strains of socialism, social democracy, or liberalism (especially in the American sense of the word), or with opposition...


The book has four primary ideological characters: Verkhovensky, Shatov, Stavrogin and Tikhon. Through their philosophies, Dostoyevsky describes the political chaos arising in Russia. Fyodor Dostoevsky. ...

Contents


Plot introduction

The Devils is a combination of two separate novels that Dostoevsky was working on. One was a commentary on the real-life murder in 1869 by a revolutionary group ("People's Vengeance") of one of its own members (Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov). The character Pyotr Verkhovensky is based upon the leader of this revolutionary group, Sergey Nechayev, who was found guilty for this murder. The other novel eventually melded into The Devils was originally a religious work. The most immoral character Stavrogin was to be the hero of this novel, and is now commonly viewed as the most important character in The Devils. Sergey Gennadiyevich Nechayev (also Sergei Nechaev, Сергей Геннадиевич Нечаев), born October 2, 1847, died either November 21 or December 3, 1882. ...


Characters

  • Nicolas Vsevolodovich Stavrogin is the main character of the novel. A complex figure, he has several inhuman traits about him that resemble a vampire in literature.
  • Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovensky is the philosopher and intellectual that is partly to blame for the revolutionary ideas that fuel the destruction that occurs in the book. He served as a father figure to Nicolas when Stavrogin was a child.
  • Pyotr Stepanovich Verkhovensky is the son of Stepan and the cause of much of the destruction. He plays at being a true believer revolutionary though his only goal is to have power.
  • Ivan Shatov is a son of former serf at the Stavrogin, former university student and another intellectual who has turned his back on his leftist ideas.
  • Sergei Kirillov is a Russian engineer who has been driven insane by the thoughts of God and life after death.
  • Ms. Stavrogin is Nicolas's mother and is a rich lady who plays at being leftist.
  • Captain Lebyadkin is the drunken former officer whose sister is secretly married to Nicolas.
  • Fedka the Convict is a roaming criminal suspected of several thefts and murders in the novel.
  • Mavriky Nikolaevich Drozdov is a visiting gentleman and guest of Ms. Stavrogin.
  • Marya Timofeevna Lebyadkin is Captain Lebyadkin's sister, rumored to have some connection to Nikolai Stavrogin's past.
  • Bishop Tikhon is a saintly character, similar to the Elder Zossima from The Brothers Karamazov. In Dostoevsky's original drafts, Stavrogin visited the Bishop for guidance. Their interview has little effect on Stavrogin, but provides the reader a better understanding of his background. However, this chapter was not accepted by the censors and Dostoevsky excised it from the original version, in which Bishop Tikhon is not mentioned. Most modern editions of The Possessed include this chapter, called "Stavrogin's Confession" or "At Tikhon's" in an appendix.

Ideologies

'The Devils' is often noted for the range of clashing ideologies present in the novel. As in most Dostoevsky works, certain characters are descriptive of specific philosophies.

  • Nihilism, embodied by Pyotr Verkhovensky, is an extreme ideology that demands the destruction of the current social order. A description of Verkhovensky's philosophy of political change is posited as "the method of a hundred million heads," referring to the predicted death toll.
  • Shigalyovism is a philosophy specific to the book and particularly of the character Shigalyov. Very similar to barracks communism, Shigalyovism demands that ninety percent of society be reduced to a condition of inhuman slavery so the other actually useful ten percent of society is free to make progress.
  • Conservatism is embodied by the provincial governor Andrei Antonovich Von Lembke, and is shown to be incapable of dealing with subversive extremism.

Nihilism is a philosophical position which argues that the world, and especially human existence, is without objective meaning, purpose, comprehensible truth, or essential value. ... Barracks communism (barracks socialism) is the term coined by Karl Marx to refer to primitive egalitarian concepts of communism with bureacratic reglamentation of all aspects of social activity. ...

Film, TV or theatrical adaptations

The British Broadcasting Corporation, invariably known as the BBC (and also informally known as the Beeb or Auntie) is the largest public broadcasting corporation in the world. ... The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is a non-profit public broadcasting television service with 349 member TV stations in the United States, with some member stations available by cable in Canada. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about actors, films, television shows, video games and production crew personnel. ... La femme publique (The Public Woman) is a French drama film inspired from Dostoevskys novel The Devils and directed by Andrzej Żuławski with Valérie Kaprisky and Francis Huster as the main actors. ... The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is an online database of information about actors, films, television shows, video games and production crew personnel. ...

See also

Fyodor Dostoevsky. ... Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union. ...

External links

  • Full Synopsis and Character Analysis
  • The Possessed (The Devils), available freely at Project Gutenberg


Project Gutenberg (often abbreviated as PG) is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
The Devils (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (509 words)
The Devils, also translated as Demons or The Possessed, is a 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
The Devils is a combination of two separate novels that Dostoevsky was working on.
Nicolas Stavrogin is the main character of the novel, a complex figure, he has several inhuman traits about him that resemble a vampire in literature.
The War of the Worlds (novel) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1688 words)
Wells, is an early science fiction invasion novel (or novella) which describes the fictional turn of the nineteenth century invasion of Earth by aliens from Mars.
The humans are soon powerless and cannot halt the invasion; however, the aliens are unexpectedly killed by terrestrial diseases, to which they have no immunity.
The novel challenges this perspective by depicting the injustice of the Martian invasion, the comparative Martian technological superiority notwithstanding.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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