Demons: Formerly translated as The PossessedDemons: Formerly translated as The Possessed
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Larissa Volokhonsky, Richard Pevear
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Inspired by the true story of a political murder that horrified Russia in 1869, Fyodor Dostoevsky concieved Demons as a "novel-pamphlet" in which he would say everything about the plague of materialist ideology that he saw infecting his native land. What he emerged with in 1872 was at once his darkest novel until The Brothers Karmazov and his most ferociously funny. For alongside its relentlessly escalating plot of conspiracy and assassination, Demons (which earlier translators eroneously titled The Possessed) is a blistering comedy of ideas run amok. And, like all of Dostoevsky's novels, it is also a riot of literary voices, whose profusion, energy, and variety are rendered wonderfully in this new English version by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, winners of the PEN Book-of-the-month Club Translation Prize.

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Fyodor Dostoevsky


Foreword vii

Translators’ Note xxv


1 Instead of an Introduction 7

2 Prince Harry. Matchmaking 40

3 Someone Else’s Sins 80

4 The Lame Girl 125

5 The Wise Serpent 159


1 Night 209

2 Night (Continued) 257

3 The Duel 282

4 All in Expectation 295

5 Before the Fête 318

6 Pyotr Stepanovich Bustles About 343

7 With Our People 388

8 Ivan the Tsarevicb 413

9 Stepan Trofimovich Perquisitioned 424

10 Filibusters. A Fatal Morning 435


1 The Fête. First Part 461

2 The End of the Fête 490

3 A Finished Romance 519

4 The Last Decision 541

5 A Traveler 565

6 A Toilsome Night 597

7 The Last Peregrination of Stepan Trofimovich 630

8 Conclusion 666


At Tikbon’s 681

Notes 715