The notebooks for The possessed


Title: Demons

Author: Fyodor Dostoevsky

Translator: Soroush Habibi

Publisher: Niloofar

Subject: Russian story

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 763 p

Language: Farsi



The notebooks for The possessed is the work of Fyodor Dostoevsky.

With the Industrial Revolution, the economic and social situation of Tsarist Russia changed.

All social classes enter a period of turmoil, and confronting critical situations removes the mask from the faces of the characters and reveals the true nature of individuals.

Dostoevsky takes a deep look inside these characters, depicts them in the novel Demons, and shows the reader that external factors, in harmony with the inner spirit, can turn people into devils overnight.

Summary of the novel Demons
The main theme of the book is about the revolutionaries who commit any crime in order to achieve their goal of overthrowing the Russian government and church, and although they love their homeland, they are easily abused.

This book is considered to be Dostoevsky’s most political work.

Stavrogin is the leader and teacher who is the central character of the Devil’s novel. The other characters described in the book introduce the reader to part of Stavrogin’s complex character, which is sometimes very contradictory.

Some of these descriptions portray Stavrogin as a leader with the skill of forcing others to commit inhumane acts.

A revolutionary group called “Our People” led by Piotr Stepanovich is a representative of the fanatical revolutionaries. Pyotr is the embodiment of the devil on earth and represents absurd thoughts.

With deception and emotional control, Pewter plays with the group and opens their feet to immoral adventures that lead to murder. Of course, Pewter, who does not see the qualities of a leader, uses Stavrogin instead of a leader.
Stavrogin is a real, intelligent, independent and mysterious leader who easily penetrates the hearts and minds of all the characters in the story. He who does not believe in God, selfishly ignores fear and morality and commits evil.

Stephen, Pewter’s father, is also one of the book’s most important characters, and the story begins with his biography. He transforms in the last days of his life and opposes the absurdist movement of Russian society.

He represents orthodox believers and quotes the Bible instead of the book. Belief in God, participation in human progress, morality, love and art are some of Dostoevsky’s concerns in this book.

A look at the life and works of Dostoevsky, the creator of the novel Demons
Fyodor Dostoevsky (1881-1821) was born into a wealthy family in Moscow. His father was a doctor and helped the poor by working at a charity hospital. In this way, Dostoevsky had the opportunity to observe the problems of the lower classes closely as a child.

After graduation, he worked as an engineer for some time. He gradually became addicted to gambling and property, something that had plagued him all his life. In the third decade of his life he became acquainted with radical critical writers and intellectuals.

Dostoevsky was arrested by the Petrochevsky’s intellectual community and confessed to his crimes by a military court. The tsar did not want the sentence to be carried out, but the convicts were dressed in white and taken to the execution site.

In the last moments of the execution, the Tsar’s pardon was read to the prisoners. Dostoevsky was sentenced to four years in a Siberian concentration camp.

The notebooks for The possessed

This near-death experience, the suffering of imprisonment, and the humiliation of the camp greatly affected Dostoevsky. The experience of the concentration camp is the subject of the novel “Memories of the House of the Dead” and the dramatic execution was mentioned in the book “The Stupid”.

In his work, Dostoevsky, the author of the novel Demons, examines the nature of criminals and the temperament of murderers who committed crimes more intentionally than instinctively. “Crime and Punishment” is one of these works.
Russia was newly industrialized under Dostoevsky, while large numbers of people lived in poverty and misery.

This situation caused the dissatisfaction of the masses and the whispers of the revolution against capitalism and the rich class in society.

Political unrest intensified day by day.

Meanwhile, a student protesting the violent behavior of the Secret Society and leaving it led to the murder of members of his group. The story of the student murder had a profound effect on Dostoevsky.

The leader of this secret group was an extremist nihilist who believed that the members of his group should have no personal interests, feelings and attachments other than revolution. This incident led to the formation of the book of demons.

“Underground Notes” is the story of a retired government employee who hates everything and everyone.

The novel Crime and Rewards is one of Dostoevsky’s famous works about a moneyless but delusional man, fascinated by power and wealth, who kills an old usurer and his sister.
The novel “Stupid” is also the story of a pure and simple-hearted person who enters the world of aristocracy. Dostoevsky’s latest work, The Karamazov Brothers, depicts the fate of three brothers, Mitya, Ivan, and Alyosha, each of whom chooses a course of life by nature and faces consequences.

Henri Troyes, a French writer, criticizes Dostoevsky’s critics: , Destroys itself.

“The demons do not always remain in the body of the victim in whom they are dissolved.”

Somerset Maugham, an English writer, wrote of Dostoevsky’s novel: “There lived in Dostoevsky’s body a man who could have created Alyosha, a creature who may not have been sweeter, nobler and kinder than him in all the novels of the world.”

“In Dostoevsky’s body lived a man who could create ‘Baba Zosima’, a man who resembles his parents.”

Dostoevsky’s writing style in the devil ‌
Russian culture is divided between two great nineteenth-century giants, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Among nineteenth-century writers, Dostoevsky had the greatest influence on modern literature.

Dostoevsky is a novelist within man, an illustrator of the inner worlds, who writes about modern suffering, the duality of faith and the world, and the moral vacuum of the individual and the masses. Dostoevsky tried to show the contradictions and extremes of his time in his works.

Four years of work experience in Siberia changed Dostoevsky emotionally. His great suffering from epilepsy, along with his more complex and bitter view of the world, led him to nihilism.

Poverty and family problems also plagued him at this time. Dostoevsky’s spirit was tormented by the emptiness of modern cities and longed for a free peasant.

Together with the French writer Balzac and the English writer Dickens, he paints a picture of societies and social classes in a chaotic and meaningless situation in cities.

Because Dostoevsky was a realist writer, social phenomena were the main reason for writing the novel.
Rejections of the social events of that period and time can be easily found in his works.

Realist is a literary style that was formed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries with the aim of describing the realities of society. The authors of this school showed their society with all its characteristics and habits, its goodness and originality in their works.

But Dostoevsky’s realism was different. He went less into trivial details and studied more into human personality. He believed that human personality is best expressed in times of severe crisis.

So Dostoevsky’s realism was more than just describing ordinary people and their lives. In his stories, nothing impossible happens and all the stories take place in a related atmosphere.

Soroush Habibi translated the book from Russian into Persian and Niloufar Publications published it with a cover image of James Ansour entitled “Conspiracy”.

In a part of the devil novel, we read:
Let me be clear that Stepan has always played a special role among us, and it can be said socially and politically, and he was so obsessed with this role that I think he could not have survived without it.

Perhaps this was due to his habit, or rather to the result of a sublime and constant desire, a childhood monument, to weave sweet dreams around his ruthless political behavior in society. For example, he had a strange interest in considering himself “wanted” or so-called “in exile.”

These two insignificant words carry with them a kind of aura of credibility which seduced him, from the very beginning and forever, and later, over the years, raised his esteem in his eyes so much that he finally considered himself on a lofty foundation. And that was very pleasing to his selfish nature.

In a satirical English story of the last century, a man named Gulliver, who returns from the land of the Lily Putas (who were half-naked men), is so accustomed to considering himself a giant among them that he shouts involuntarily in the streets of London and passers-by and chariots. Warns them to go back and be careful not to be crushed under his feet, because he thinks he is still a giant and others are small.

People laugh at him and insult him, and the big-tempered Surchians whip a big dream out of his head. But did Gulliver deserve this behavior? What does the habit not do!

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