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Demons (1872)

by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,773731,128 (4.15)93
Classic Literature. Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky is regarded by scholars and critics as one of the most important writers of the nineteenth century. His deeply philosophical novels present a nuanced look at some of the psychological struggles that men and women face. This novel, set against the backdrop of the initial rumblings of revolution in Imperial Russia, delves into the motivations that inspire extreme political ideologies.

.… (more)
  1. 10
    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".
  2. 10
    Petersburg by Andrei Bely (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: "The turbulent late years of the Russian empire produced not one but two novels about terrorist plots that abound in images of carnivalesque horror. Dostoevsky’s Demons (1873) and Andrei Bely’s Petersburg (1913, revised 1922 [!]) both dramatize the activities of radical terrorist groups. Members of terrorist cells engaged in secretly planned and spectacularly performed acts of violence, and both Dostoevsky and Bely employ theatrical imagery to represent the dual nature of terror, as a both private and public phenomenon. This theatricality ranges from Shakespearean allusions to acts of costuming and scripting to images of puppets and clowns." Issue 35 of Hypocrite Reader… (more)
  3. 11
    The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (ehines)

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» See also 93 mentions

English (57)  Dutch (4)  French (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Italian (1)  All (1)  Serbian (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Like many books by Russian authors, it felt like the first third of it could have been removed and the book would have been just as good. Very long character introductions and stories that seemed to have little to do with the main plot. Still, an interesting examination of the consequences of trying to overthrow social and cultural norms and institutions. ( )
  ChristinaFaucett | Jul 26, 2023 |
This is one of the few novels by Dostoyevsky that I haven't read, and I think it's not only his most political but also his most prescient in terms of today's world—particularly the individual faced with corrupt systems, the movement toward anarchy and rebellion, and the webs of power that bind all individuals to their oppressive societies no matter how hard they strive to be free of these restrictions.

I think Demons should be read after some of Dostoyevsky's more intricately plotted and deeper psychological work, novels like Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov especially. The latter is the most fresh Dostoyevsky is my mind as I was reading through Demons, and the dialogue that the texts struck up with one another made Demons more profound, deeply affecting, and an immense achievement.

Every sentence was a joy and a small heartbreak. This will have me moving rereads of Dostoyevsky's work higher up on my to-read list, without any doubt. What an amazing book. ( )
  proustitute | Apr 2, 2023 |
I normally write my reviews as soon as I have finished reading a book. I have been sitting on this one for several weeks because I really do not know what to say. I struggled with finishing this at all, forcing myself through a chapter and then breaking for a long while before taking up the next chapter. That might explain why it never gelled for me. It was boring and laborious and dark.

I love Russian literature as a general rule and after reading Crime and Punishment the first time, I would have said I was a fan of Dostoevsky. But, it took me three tries to finish The Brothers Karamazov, a novel that was replete with worthy themes and difficult structure. After finishing it, I was glad I had made the third try; it was not a book I could regret reading. I am having no such feeling with regard to this one.

The novel is a highly political novel, concerned with the factions operating in Russia at the time. Without at least a fair understanding of Russian history, I believe it would be virtually incomprehensible.

It is sad to say, but I have several other Dostoevsky’s on my must read list and I am thinking about either removing them or moving them to the bottom. I certainly could not face another right now and I’m having a hard time imagining facing them at all. The edition I have is beautifully bound, with exquisite illustrations. I am now torn about leaving it on my shelf or passing it on in hopes that someone else can appreciate it more than just aesthetically.
( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
  laplantelibrary | Apr 29, 2022 |
  laplantelibrary | Apr 25, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (96 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dostoevsky, Fyodorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boland, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frank, JosephIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Güell, Josep MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geier, SwetlanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Geir KjetsaaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
López-Morillas, JuanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
López-Morillas, JuanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leerink, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magarshack, DavidTranslatorsecondary 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
Timmer, Charles B.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Volokhonsky, LarissaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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)
In a letter written from Dresden, dated 8 October 1870, addressed to his publisher, Fyodor Dostoevsky described the difficulty he was having with the new novel he's begun writing:
For a very long time I had trouble with the beginning of the work. I rewrote it several times. To tell the truth, something happened with this novel that had never happened to me before: week after week, I would keep putting asigne the beginning and work on the ending instead... What I can guarantee is that, as the novel progresses, it will hold the reader's interest. It seems to me that the way I have it now is for the best. (Introduction)
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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Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Classic Literature. Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky is regarded by scholars and critics as one of the most important writers of the nineteenth century. His deeply philosophical novels present a nuanced look at some of the psychological struggles that men and women face. This novel, set against the backdrop of the initial rumblings of revolution in Imperial Russia, delves into the motivations that inspire extreme political ideologies.


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Pëtr Verchovenskij è il capo di un'organizzazione nichilista, e con ammirata sottomissione offre il frutto della propria attività rivoluzionaria al demoniaco Stavrogin. Quando viene ucciso Satov, un ex seguace convertitosi alla fede ortodossa, Pëtr obbliga Kirillov ad autodenunciarsi, prima del suicidio. Seguono altri delitti in apparenza privi di motivo e solo la fine di Stavrogin, trovato impiccato nel suo appartamento, sembra porre termine all'azione di questi "demonî". Un romanzo polifonico, in cui i personaggi rivelano tutte le contraddizioni di una società apparentemente colta e liberale.
Haiku summary
A censored chapter.
Takes it's place at the finish.
Suddenly profound.

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