The Possessed- Fyodor Dostoevsky



‘The Possessed’ is considered to be one of the four masterpieces written by Dostoevsky after he returned from his Siberian exile. The story takes place in a small Russian town that is thrown into chaos by the arrival of a mystery man, Pyotr Stepanovich. Paranoia grips the town as family and friends betray one another while Pyotr plans a violent political uprising. The novel builds to a brutal and bloody climax, as the town is engulfed by flames and the death toll rises. ‘The Possessed’ displays Dostoevsky’s mastery of tragedy and social satire as the established political and familial norms of the town are uprooted and destroyed by the young revolutionaries. Dostoevsky explores the loss of morality in 19th Century Russia, as a society without a moral grounding tragically turns to nihilism and violence, but its ideas are just as resonant in today’s secular world. Celebrated author Joyce Carol Oates described ‘The Possessed’ as a work of ‘unparalleled genius’ and its epic scope and blend of political intrigue and familial tragedy make it the perfect read for fans of classic Russian or Greek literature.

Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) was a famous Russian writer of novels, short stories, and essays. A connoisseur of the troubled human psyche and the relationships between the individuals, Dostoevsky’s oeuvre covers a large area of subjects: politics, religion, social issues, philosophy, and the uncharted realms of the psychological. He is most famous for the novels ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘The Idiot’, and ‘The Brothers Karamazov’. James Joyce described Dostoevsky as the creator of ‘modern prose’ and his literary legacy is influential to this day as Dostoevsky’s work has been adapted for many movies including ‘The Double’ starring Jesse Eisenberg.
Constance Garnett
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Saga Egmont
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