The Possessed (In Russian: Бесы, tr. Besy), also translated as The Devils or Demons, is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The Possessed is an extremely political book, and is a testimonial of life in Imperial Russia in the late 19th century. As the revolutionary democrats begin to rise in... show more
The Possessed (In Russian: Бесы, tr. Besy), also translated as The Devils or Demons, is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The Possessed is an extremely political book, and is a testimonial of life in Imperial Russia in the late 19th century. As the revolutionary democrats begin to rise in Russia, different ideologies begin to collide. Dostoevsky casts a critical eye on both the left-wing idealists, exposing their ideas and ideological foundation as demonic, and the conservative establishment's ineptitude in dealing with those ideas and their social consequences. This form of intellectual conservativism tied to the Slavophil movement of Dostoevsky's day, is seen to have continued on into its modern manifestation in individuals like Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Dostoevsky's novels focusing on the idea that utopias and positivist ideas, in being utilitarian, were unrealistic and unobtainable. The book has five primary ideological characters: Verkhovensky, Shatov, Stavrogin, Stepan Trofimovich, and Kirilov. Through their philosophies, Dostoevsky describes the political chaos seen in 19th-Century Russia.
Publish date: July 1st 1962
Publisher: Signet Classics
Pages no: 704
Edition language: English
This book, along with a number of other 'bricks', has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while and I realised that if I wanted to reduce number of books that I have not read I was going to have to tackle some of these 'bricks', so since I have already read some of Dostoevsky I decided that I would...
The quality and mastery of Dostoevsky’s vision, and his use of character and plot and pacing, are all on display in this marvelous work. It’s true that perhaps it doesn’t hold together as strongly as some of his other works; but it’s not true that this is a poor example of his work. In some ways, it...
Brilliant, in fact I think this is my favourite of all his books. Fantastic characterisation, dark humour, wonderful dialogue, interesting and complex philosophical ideas incorporated with a minimum of pretention and a great story - what more could one want?
In setting out to describe the recent and very strange events that took place in our town, hitherto not remarkable for anything, I am forced, for want of skill, to begin somewhat far back - namely, with some biographical details concerning the talented and much esteemed Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovens...
Not as great as I was lead to believe. Not up there with the best of his work. It's a little hard to accept the narrator who veers from a participant to omniscient, and back again. Some of the characters' actions are also hard accept, even in light of the Revolution in the next century. It's sti...