Intimate Stranger: Meetings with the Devil in Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature

Overview

"The Intimate Stranger provides the first detailed investigation of a distinctive literary phenomenon: a fascination with demons and devils in nineteenth-century Russian literature. Nearly all of the major authors of the period - Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy - used images of devils to explore issues of human temptation, sin, and guilt in a troubled world. Asking fundamental questions - where does evil come from? when does it appear in characters' lives? - these writers created a remarkable array of demonic figures, ranging
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Overview

"The Intimate Stranger provides the first detailed investigation of a distinctive literary phenomenon: a fascination with demons and devils in nineteenth-century Russian literature. Nearly all of the major authors of the period - Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Dostoevsky, and Tolstoy - used images of devils to explore issues of human temptation, sin, and guilt in a troubled world. Asking fundamental questions - where does evil come from? when does it appear in characters' lives? - these writers created a remarkable array of demonic figures, ranging from grotesque demons to handsome nihilists. This book discusses the various literary, religious, and folkloric factors that influenced the representation of the demonic, and it investigates the profound, soul-shattering effects that a personal encounter with the demonic may have on an individual's life."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Connolly (Slavic languages and literatures, U. of Virginia) explores representations of demons and devils in 19th-century Russian literature. He begins with a discussion of the demonic in early Russian literature and folklore. Subsequent chapters examine the writings of Gogol, Pushkin, Lermontov, Dostoevskii, and Tolstoi. Connolly contends that over the course of the century, these authors increasingly "depict their characters' confrontations with the demonic as encounters with one's own self"<-->(from the introduction). Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration
1 Introduction: The Nature of the Beast 1
2 The Devil Stirs: First Encounters 15
3 Gogol's Early Demons: From Dikanka to Mirgorod 43
4 Eluding Definition: The Devil in St. Petersburg 81
5 Aleksandr Pushkin and the Spirit of Seduction 111
6 Mikhail Lermontov and the Demon Spurned 135
7 Lengthening Shadows: Fedor Dostoevskii's Devils 161
8 Conflict at the Crisis Point: The Brothers Karamazov 203
9 An Attempt at Exorcism: Tolstoi's Late Fiction 247
10 Conclusion: The Indispensable Demon 275
Bibliography 285
Index 303
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