The Possessed (The Devils)

Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Possessed (The Devils), by Fyodor Dostoevsky - click to see full size image

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The Possessed, also known as The Devils, is a novel written by Fyodor Dostoevsky, first published in 1872. Set in 19th-century Russia, the story revolves around a fictional town which experiences political and social turmoil as it becomes a breeding ground for radical ideologies and revolutionary movements. The novel features a diverse cast of characters, each representing different aspects of Russian society. The protagonist, Nikolai Stavrogin, is a charismatic and enigmatic figure who captivates the town's inhabitants with his charm but remains emotionally detached and morally ambiguous. The central conflict arises when a group of disaffected intellectuals, known as the 'nechaevists', led by the passionate and fanatical Pyotr Verkhovensky, attempts to bring about a violent revolution in the town. Verkhovensky aims to dismantle traditional social structures and replace them with a nihilistic ideology, emphasizing destruction and chaos. As the nechaevist movement gains momentum, Skotoprigonyevsk descends into anarchy, with tragic consequences. An allegory of the potentially catastrophic consequences of the political and moral nihilism that were becoming prevalent in Russia in the 1860s, The Possessed is considered one of four masterpieces written by Dostoevsky after his return from Siberian exile.

This book has 254,813 words, 425 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1871-1872. This translation by Constance Garnett was first published in 1916.

Production notes: This ebook of The Possessed (The Devils) was published by Global Grey in 2018, and updated on the 14th June 2023. The artwork used for the cover is 'Arrest of a Propagandist' by Ilya Repin.

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