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The Petty Demon (original 1905; edition 2009)
by Fyodor Sologub, Murl Barker (Editor), S. D. Cioran (Translator)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0882338080, Paperback)The Petty Demon is one of the funniest Russian novels ever written. It is also the most decadent of the great Russian classics, replete with naked boys, sinuous girls, and a strange mixture of beauty and perversity. The main character, Peredonov, is as comical as he is disgusting—at once a victim, a monster, a silly hypocrite, and a sadistic dullard.
The plot moves from Peredonov’s petty quest for a promotion to arson and murder via one of the most incredible and uproarious scandal scenes in world literature, the masquerade attended by the boy Sasha dressed as a beautiful geisha. The electricity of the relationship between androgynous, pubescent Sasha and the lovely Lyudmilla, with her exotic perfumes, caresses, and lubricious fantasies, never fails to hold the reader’s attention.
Even in its censored form, The Petty Demon is one of the most provocative and sexually open of the Russian literary cannon. Sologub removed many passages (fifteen percent of the text) that would have been unacceptable at the time of publication. These sections are restored in this edition, so that the reader can experience the novel as it was originally written.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:08 -0400)
Mad, lascivious, sadistic and ridiculous, the provincial schoolteacher Peredonov torments his students and has hallucinatory fantasies about acts of savagery and degradation, yet to everyone else he is an upstanding member of society. As he pursues the idea of marrying to gain promotion, he descends into paranoia, sexual perversion, arson, torture and murder.
(summary from another edition)
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