“If you want to overcome the whole world, overcome yourself.”
“My friend, the truth is always implausible, did you know that? To make the truth more plausible, it’s absolutely necessary to mix a bit of falsehood with it. People have always done so.”
“So, according to you, the other God does exist after all?’
‘He doesn’t exist, but He is. There’s no pain in a stone, but there’s pain in the fear of a stone.”
Among the titans who have ever ruled the literary world, there are many whose writing could work wonders, but two of them stand out through the scope and insight of their stories and characters. We’re naming here Shakespeare and Dostoyevsky, who have covered and uncovered in their books, among themselves, the whole range of man’s weaknesses, virtues and mysteries.
Any great novel of ideas should have characters who deal in ideas and are on a quest for spiritual and psychological fulfilment and that is exactly what happens in The Possessed, which benefits from five major figures that will stay in the reader’s mind as representative for that type of political mind and vigour that could cause upheavals and change any status quo.
Verkhovensky, Shatov, Stavrogin, Stepan Trofimovich, and Kirilov represent the political chaos so specific to any times, modern or not, when change becomes necessary in order for the core values to remain the same.
If you haven’t discovered Dostoyevsky yet, this is the best start into his world, as this heavy gem will provide some of the most rewarding insights into the troubled human spirit that you can find in a book.
Dive in and solve the mystery of the title, you will maybe discover some demons of your own that you didn’t know about. Good luck!