By authors possessed: the demonic novel in Russia
This new study of Russian literature examines the development of the demonic in key Russian novels from the last two centuries. Defining the demonic novel as one that takes as its theme an evil presence incarnated in the protagonists and attributed to the Devil (as understood in Judeo-Christian terms), Weiner investigates the way the content of such a book can compromise the moral integrity of its narration and its sense of authorship. Weiner contends that the theme of demonism increasingly infects the narrative point of view from Gogol's Dead Souls to Dostoevsky's The Devils and Bely's Petersburg, until Nabokov exorcized the demonic novel through his fiction and his criticism. Starting from the premise that artistic creation has always been enshrouded in a haze of moral dilemma and religious doubt, Weiner's study of the demonic novel is an attempt to illuminate the potential ethical perils and aesthetic gains of great art. At the very least, By Authors Possessed should change the way these classic Russian novels are read in the future.
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Chapter One The Demonic Novel
Cluipter Two The Evils of Dead Souls
Chapter Three Narrative Possession in The Devils
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aesthetic Ahrimanian Albinus Andrei Bely Apollon argues artistic authorial personae authorship becomes Bely Bely's Bogomil Boris Godunov Bulgakov century chapter characters Chichikov Christ Christian chronicle consciousness create creation creative creator critical culture dark Dead Souls deity demonic novel demonology depict describes despair Devil diabolical divine Dosto Dostoevsky Dudkin ethical evil fact fiction God's Gogolian Hermann hero holy Humbert icon idle cerebral play implied author intention irony Kirillov Kopeikin Koshchei Laughter Lippanchenko literary Lolita Luciferian Margot Master and Margarita moral Moscow myth Nabokov narrative narrator narrator's Nikolai Gogol novelistic Nozdrev Orthodox pagan parody passage Peter Petersburg petty demon picaresque Pliushkin poetic point of view possession protagonist Pushkin's reader reading realist religious Rex's Russian literature Satanic Shatov Shigalev Shishnarfne skomorokh Solov'ev Souk spiritual Stavrogin Stepan Trofimovich suggests theme theurgic tion truth University Press unreliable unreliable narrator Vadim Vladimir Vladimir Nabokov Woland word writing Zegel'krants