Devils, also known in English as The Possessed and The Demons, was first published in 1871-2. The third of Dostoevsky's five major novels, it is at once a powerful political tract and a profound study of atheism, depicting the disarray which follows the appearance of a band of modish radicals in a small provincial town. Dostoevsky compares infectious radicalism to the devils that drove the Gadarene swine over the precipice in his vision of
a society possessed by demonic creatures that produce devastating delusions of rationality.
Dostoevsky is at his most imaginatively humorous in Devils: the novel is full of buffoonery and grotesque comedy. The plot is loosely based on the details of a notorious case of political murder, but Dostoevsky weaves suicide, rape, and a multiplicity of scandals into a compelling story of political evil.
_ This new translation also includes the chapter `Stavrogin's Confession', which was initially considered to be too shocking to print. In this edition it appears where the author originally intended it.
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