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"I am acting badly," thought Yevgeny, "But what's one to do? Anyhow it is not for long."
Leo Tolstoy is known for epic novels that brilliantly dissect society, but the novella The Devil may be the most personally revealing—and startling—fiction he ever wrote. He thought it so scandalous, in fact, that he hid the manuscript in the upholstery of a chair in his office so his wife wouldn't find it, and he would never allow it to be published in his lifetime.
Perhaps that's because the gripping tale of an aristocratic landowner slowly overcome with unrelenting sexual desire for one of the peasants on his estate was strikingly similar to an affair Tolstoy himself had. Regardless, the tale—presented here with the two separate endings Tolstoy couldn't decide between—is a scintillating study of sexual attraction and human obsession.
The Art of The Novella Series
Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.read more
One of the greatest Russian writers of the 19th century, Leo Tolstoy is best known for his novels The Cossacks, Resurrection, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, which are considered to be among the best examples of realistic fiction ever written, as well as non-fiction including A Confession and What Is Art?. In addition to his writing, Tolstoy was known as a moral thinker and social reformer who embraced ascetic views in his personal life, and his writings on non-violent resistance, particularly The Kingdom of God Is Within You, influenced such notable activists as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Tolstoy died of pneumonia in 1910, leaving behind a rich literary legacy that has been translated around the world and adapted for many international films.read more
Reviews for The Devil
An entertaining, though overdramatic, tale of a man's fight against lust. The devil referred to in the title is openly described as the woman the man lusts after but it is apparent that the temptation of lust itself is the actual "devil" of the title. While the story is overdramatic in its telling by modern standard's and the actions of the female characters very stereotypical, it is typical of writing from this period. I certainly enjoyed the story and it has whetted my appetite for more Tolstoy. As to the author hiding this from his wife, I don't think it had anything to do with the story's sexual nature but rather that the main character contemplates killing his wife and due to the biographical nature of the story *that* may have been what he didn't want her to see. LOL. I really appreciated being able to read both endings which end up exactly in the same place but get there differently. Personally, I prefer the first one.read more
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