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Riivaajat by F. M. Dostojevski
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Riivaajat (original 1872; edition 1989)

by F. M. Dostojevski, Lea Pyykkö (KääNt.)

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4,375None1,120 (4.16)46
Member:Maijan
Title:Riivaajat
Authors:F. M. Dostojevski
Other authors:Lea Pyykkö (KääNt.)
Info:Hämeenlinna Karisto 1989.
Collections:Your library
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Demons by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1872)

  1. 00
    The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Die allgemein lesenswerte Sammlung von autobiografisch eingefärbten Literatur- und Reiseerfahrungen enthält auch einen Essay zu "The Possessed".
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» See also 46 mentions

English (33)  Dutch (4)  Serbian (1)  French (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/2226686.html

I found this a bit of a slog, to be honest. An awful lot of time is spent setting up the bourgeois country town whose peace is destroyed by a few men who turn to revolutionary violence for no particularly good reason. It's obviously rather chilling to read in retrospect, given that the forces of revolutionary violence did actually win in Russia decades after this was written. But I would have liked some more sympathetic characters.

Interesting that America, with its egalitarian but tough environment, is explicitly the inspiration for several characters. ( )
  nwhyte | Dec 31, 2013 |
Part two of my grand 'I should read Dostoevsky's big 3' plan, and much more successful than part 1, Brothers K. Demons was *way* funnier, ultimately much darker, and less mind-numbingly repetitive than K; in fact, I really enjoyed it. Yeah, it's baggy as hell; but it's tighter than K. It has all the tricks and gadgets you'd expect, but they're less intrusive. The strangest gadget by far is the indeterminate narrator. He's a character... who knows what other characters are thinking, even when he wasn't present while they were doing whatever it was they were doing. Is this okay? I really can't tell. It definitely makes it harder to suspend disbelief. But if you're not a big one for suspending disbelief, I'm sure you can come up with some justification for this technique, for instance, it's a really great novel! Or perhaps something involving much more French theory. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
It's amazing that such a long, boring book without any main characters -- or any sympathetic characters at all, aside from the suspiciously reasonable and omniscient narrator -- has achieved distinction as a classic, or even as a good novel. Here, Dostoyevsky failed miserably in crafting an interesting narrative. There is little plot, and the book doesn't even become remotely engaging until halfway through. After that, the action picks up, but it splits so often between different characters -- each of them equally annoying -- that I still couldn't wait for it to be over. The first quarter of the book is occupied with two characters that you presume will be the main ones (Mrs. Stavrogin and Stepan V.), but they barely appear for the rest of the novel. I only skimmed the last three chapters.

As a political satire or warning, the book works much better. Dostoyevsky offers a scathing criticism of socialism and liberalism in general. Some of his caricatures of the leftists are hilarious, and he doesn't reserve his criticism for the left: his depiction of the ineffectual "conservative" governor's house is equally acidic. He lost me when he strayed into the metaphysical/philosophical realm, especially with Kirilov's godhood-through-suicide ideas. A lot of these scribblings are the precursor to what would appear in his next novel [b:The Brothers Karamazov|4934|The Brothers Karamazov|Fyodor Dostoyevsky|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1327882764s/4934.jpg|3393910]. Ultimately though, political commentary and theological musings do not sustain 600 pages of novel at anywhere near an enjoyable level.

[b:Crime and Punishment|7144|Crime and Punishment |Fyodor Dostoyevsky|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347560919s/7144.jpg|3393917] is one of my all-time favorites, and I really wanted to like this book. Alas, it wasn't to be. ( )
  blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
More directly political than D's other big novels. ( )
  ehines | Jun 13, 2013 |
I liked The Demons, mostly its characters, though sometimes the dialogue devolves in such funny ways. The translation may be a bit uneven. This is not the translation I read, actually, but the one by Magarshack. ( )
  AminaMemory | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (100 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fyodor Dostoevskyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frank, JosephIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güell, Josep MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geier, SwetlanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geir KjetsaaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leerink, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McAndrew, Andrew R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pevear, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Praag, S. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pyykkö, LeaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
The there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lat, and were choked. When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet to Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. They also which saw it told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. -Luke viii. 32-36
Strike me dead, the track has vanished,  Well, what now?  We've lost the way,  Demons have bewitched our horses,  Led us in the wilds astray...What a number?  Whither drift they?  What's the mournful dirge they sing?  Do they hail a witch's marriage or a goblin's burying? - A. Pushkin
Dedication
First words
Before describing the extraordinary events which took place so recently in our town, hitherto not remarkable for anything in particular, I find it necessary, since I am not a skilled writer, to go back a little and begin with certain biographical detains concerning our talented and greatly esteemed Stepan Trofimovich Verkhovensky.
In undertaking to describe the recent and strange incidents in our town, till lately wrapped in uneventful obscurity, I find myself forced in absence of literary skill to begin my story rather far back, that is to say, with certain biographical details concerning that talented and highly-eseemed gentleman, Stepan Tromfimovitch Verhovensky.  (Modern Library 1930 edition)
Quotations
Stavrogin: "Every man has a right to an umbrella."
Lebyatkin: "You've defined the minimum of human rights in one short sentence, sir."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice

Variant Titles: Demons was also published as The Devils and The Possessed.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679734511, Paperback)

Inspired by the true story of a political murder that horried Russians in 1869, Fyodor Dostoevsky conceived of Demons as a "novel-pamphlet" in which he would say everything about the plague of materialist ideology that he saw infecting his native land. What emerged was a prophetic and ferociously funny masterpiece of ideology and murder in pre-revolutionary Russia.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:41 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A new translation of The Possessed and a new title to go with it. The translators claim it better reflects the spirit of what basically is a novel of ideas, the demons of the title being the Western imports of idealism, socialism, materialism, nihilism, atheism and so on.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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