The Devils by F. M. Dostoevsky
"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 by Michael Katz 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.