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Demons is an anti-nihilistic novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, first published in the journal The Russian Messenger in 1871-2. It is the third of the four great novels written by Dostoyevsky after his return from Siberian exile, the others being Crime and Punishment, The Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov. Demons is a social and political satire, a psychological drama, and large scale tragedy. Joyce Carol Oates has described it as "Dostoevsky's most confused and violent novel, and his most satisfyingly 'tragic' work."
Set in the 1860s, Demons is an allegory of the potentially catastrophic consequences of the political and moral nihilism that were becoming prevalent at that time in Russia. A provincial town descends into chaos as it becomes the focal point of an attempted revolution, orchestrated by master conspirator Pyotr Verkhovensky. The mysterious aristocratic figure of Nikolai Stavrogin—Verkhovensky's counterpart in the moral sphere—dominates the book, exercising an extraordinary influence over the hearts and minds of almost all the other characters.

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Die Dämonen ist vielleicht sein wichtigster Roman. Dostojewski stand kurz vor der Hinrichtung als Revolutionär, wurde begnadigt zum sibirischen Exil. Er kannte also sehr gut dieses Milieu, das der Nihilisten, und zerpflückt es in den Dämonen schonungslos. Er zeigt sehr schön, dass extremistische Weltverbesserer sehr leicht zu Weltzerstörern werden können. Wäre der Roman im auslaufenden 19. Jahrhundert in Russland auf dem Schulplan gestanden, wäre die kriminelle Clique der Bolshewiki nie an die Macht gekommen.

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