The Devil & Uncle Will (Contemporary Literature)

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He's the all-seeing eye and a source of true evil and villainy to the arbiters of good. Judge Holden is, apparently, a real, historical figure, though evidence is minimal. After reading Blood Meridian , we'd suggest that we hope he was entirely made-up, seeing as Holden is the devil incarnate, leading a pack of criminals into robbery, rape and murder, throwing in a touch of paedophilia along the way.

A seven-foot monster, with pale white skin, McCarthy paints him as almost supernatural in ability, but also in badness. A true villain of the peace in every way. A demonic figure from German folklore, put into literature by Marlowe, Mephistopholes is a servant of Lucifer, charged with collecting the souls of the damned.

When Faustus decides to sell his soul to the devil in exchange for Mephistopoles' supernatural powers, he does initially try to dissuade him from making the trade; however, he doesn't try too hard to change Faustus' mind and, is thoroughly useless to him once the trade has been made. Evil, untrustworthy, Lucifer's mate: he definitely deserves his place in the villainous hall of fame.

Children's books get all the best villains, and Roald Dahl created more than most. A cruel sadist who hates children ideal for a teacher , tortures them in a glass-and-nail-filled cupboard known as "The Chokey" and torments her nicest member of staff, Ms Honey, Trunchbull is a true bully, and a fantastic villain.

To call Patrick Bateman a villain is probably underplaying it a little. A wealthy and successful investment banker yes - but also a violent psychopath, whose hobbies include drug addiction, murder, rape, cannibalism, mutilation and necrophilism. Of course, whether or not any of the violent acts described actually happen or are just figments of his own imagination is open to debate, but this is his story and he is the undisputed villain of it, so in he goes to the list.

Oh yes, we haven't forgotten. The single, saddest event of everyone's childhood bar not getting that Lego Pirate Ship for Christmas was the moment when Bambi's mother got shot. Therefore, the un-named 'He' who committed the most unforgivable crime in literary history, must rank as one of the greatest villains of all time. No, we're not crying; it's just been raining on our faces. Break Bond down into its constituent elements and what have you got? The girls, the gadgets, the Martinis and most importantly, the villains. The, erm, poster boy for all supervillains since - yes, including Dr.

Evil - and he comes with his own cat to manically stroke. Humbert, the narrator of Lolita , uses wordplay and humour in his writing, whilst also seemingly expressing regret for many of his actions, but the fact remains that he is a paedophile, taking the young year-old Dolores, aka Lolita, and leading her into a life of abuse at his hands. Nabokov's genius lies in making us almost sympathise with him - but he remains a undisputed villain.

No-one knows the backstory of The Wicked Witch of the West, or her co-conspirators, The Wicked Witch of the South and the Wicked Witch of the East - maybe they were all bullied at school - but they were definitely witches, and definitely wicked. Old, dry, and wizened, she tries to thwart our heroes with plagues of wolves, crows, bees and soldiers, but to no avail.

And she even hits Toto the dog with her umbrella. Now that's unforgivable. The mythical villain of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf , Grendel is commonly regarded as a monster, and a descendent of the first Biblical murderer, Cain. He is feared by all except the hero Beowulf - and quite right too, seemingly being a big fan of killing and eating anyone he finds in the mead-hall of Heorot.

For that reason alone, he must be ranked as one of the greatest villains of all: if you can't feel safe in a mead-hall, then you can't feel safe anywhere. I'm sure he blames his genes, but it's no excuse Mr. A foe so fearsome that people are scared to say his name out loud. Harry Potter's nemesis and a psychopath with a skull-like face, red eyes and snake-like slits for nostrils, he's unlikely to win any beauty contests: a vile and villainous creature all round. The dark and evil villain of Ray Bradbury's fantastical classic, Mr Dark specialises in luring vulnerable souls into joining the carnival - something which is nowhere near as fun as it sounds.

He bears tattoos on his body, one for every victim, and cannot abide positivity or affection. To be honest, we really should have guessed that he wasn't a good guy from the name. Pinkie is a character that believes himself to be "pure evil", and we're probably not going to dispute that with him. A violent sociopath, who carries out horrific acts of murder and abuse with seemingly no remorse.

Feared by members of his own gang -and all this at the age of He hates women and has no friends.

The 40 Greatest Villains Of Literature

Anyone going to say he's not a great villain? We thought not. He had a tough start in life, being born with a crippled leg, and given a derogatory nickname by his own mother "Lungri - the lame one" , but that doesn't excuse Shere Khan becoming the villainous creature that he did. Scheming to disrupt the Wolf Pack and claim the life of young Mowgli, this evil tiger will stop at nothing to obtain his prey. A tough upbringing is no excuse you know his Dad was probably quite nice. An unashamed mercenary, who cares only for himself, and his own profit, Milo Minderbinder is a tremendous literary villain.

He will stop at nothing to achieve monetary gain, playing the black market, and working on both sides during the Second World War; even when it involves actions that will kill his own countrymen. Utterly immoral, and utterly committed to pure capitalism, Minderbender only answers to himself and his god: money. A true monster of a woman, Nurse Ratched is every hospital nightmare rolled into one ultra-villanous character.

Ruling over a mental institution with absolute power, she uses fear, humiliation and brutality to abuse her vulnerable patients - at least, until Randle McMurphy arrives. Next time you have a slightly cold, unfriendly nurse remember - it could be a whole lot worse. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Despite leaving her own barbarian people in order to marry Jason, a Greek, then saving him from a dragon, he has decided to leave her to marry a royal princess. Typical man - leave when a better offer comes along. Mathilde is mysterious.

She seems to have no legible past, no obvious context. This is a characteristically patriarchal gesture: Mathilde seems to ask for little, and subsumes whatever desire for a career she may have had to his larger claims. The little she spoke of childhood was shadowed with abuse. Her most vivid memories of her childhood were of the television that was never turned off. Salvation of school, scholarship, modeling for spare change. They had begun to accrete stories between them. It must have taken an immense force of will for Mathilde to turn her past, so sad and dark, blank behind her.

Now she had only him. The couple move to New York it is the early nineteen-nineties. They are poor he has been cut off from the family wealth, a penalty for his spousal choice but happy, heroically bohemian, erotically enchanted with each other. During his twenties, Lotto struggles to make it as an actor, while Mathilde works at an art gallery, earning the regular money. Though naturally ebullient, Lotto, whose father used to say that he would become President or an astronaut, suffers from depression, and starts drinking.

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Mathilde wakes him to tell him that she has read it, that he has found his true talent, and that she has already started editing the manuscript. Lotto, lucky man, appears to remember nothing of his dusky labor. She loves to cook and clean and edit my work, it makes her happy to do these things. It was his explosive power which shattered the Victorian novel with its simpering maidens and ordered commonplaces; books which were without imagination or violence.

In an olive-green postage stamp dedicated to Dostoevsky was released in the Soviet Union, with a print run of 1, copies. Coetzee featured Dostoevsky as the protagonist in his novel The Master of Petersburg. The Dostoyevskaya metro station in Saint Petersburg was opened on 30 December , and the station of the same name in Moscow was opened on 19 June , the 75th anniversary of the Moscow Metro. The Moscow station is decorated with murals by artist Ivan Nikolaev depicting scenes from Dostoevsky's works, such as controversial suicides. Dostoevsky's work did not always gain a positive reception.

Several critics, such as Nikolay Dobrolyubov , Ivan Bunin and Vladimir Nabokov , viewed his writing as excessively psychological and philosophical rather than artistic. Others found fault with chaotic and disorganised plots, and others, like Turgenev, objected to "excessive psychologising" and too-detailed naturalism. His style was deemed "prolix, repetitious and lacking in polish, balance, restraint and good taste".

These characters were compared to those of Hoffmann, an author whom Dostoevsky admired. Basing his estimation on stated criteria of enduring art and individual genius, Nabokov judges Dostoevsky "not a great writer, but rather a mediocre one—with flashes of excellent humour but, alas, with wastelands of literary platitudes in between".

Bibliographic Information

Nabokov complains that the novels are peopled by "neurotics and lunatics" and states that Dostoevsky's characters do not develop: "We get them all complete at the beginning of the tale and so they remain. Dostoevsky's books have been translated into more than languages. French, German and Italian translations usually came directly from the original, while English translations were second-hand and of poor quality. Dostoevsky's works were interpreted in film and on stage in many different countries. Dostoevsky did not refuse permission, but he advised against it, as he believed that "each art corresponds to a series of poetic thoughts, so that one idea cannot be expressed in another non-corresponding form".

His extensive explanations in opposition to the transposition of his works into other media were groundbreaking in fidelity criticism. He thought that just one episode should be dramatised, or an idea should be taken and incorporated into a separate plot. After the Russian Revolution , passages of Dostoevsky books were sometimes shortened, although only two books were censored: Demons [] and Diary of a Writer.

Dostoevsky's works of fiction include 15 novels and novellas, 17 short stories, and 5 translations. Many of his longer novels were first published in serialised form in literary magazines and journals. The years given below indicate the year in which the novel's final part or first complete book edition was published. In English many of his novels and stories are known by different titles. Poor Folk is an epistolary novel that describes the relationship between the small, elderly official Makar Devushkin and the young seamstress Varvara Dobroselova, remote relatives who write letters to each other.

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Makar's tender, sentimental adoration for Varvara and her confident, warm friendship for him explain their evident preference for a simple life, although it keeps them in humiliating poverty. An unscrupulous merchant finds the inexperienced girl and hires her as his housewife and guarantor. He sends her to a manor somewhere on a steppe, while Makar alleviates his misery and pain with alcohol.

The story focuses on poor people who struggle with their lack of self-esteem. Their misery leads to the loss of their inner freedom, to dependence on the social authorities, and to the extinction of their individuality. Dostoevsky shows how poverty and dependence are indissolubly aligned with deflection and deformation of self-esteem, combining inward and outerward suffering.

Notes from Underground is split into two stylistically different parts, the first essay-like, the second in narrative style. The protagonist and first-person narrator is an unnamed year-old civil servant known as The Underground Man. The only known facts about his situation are that he has quit the service, lives in a basement flat on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg and finances his livelihood from a modest inheritance.

The first part is a record of his thoughts about society and his character. He describes himself as vicious, squalid and ugly; the chief focuses of his polemic are the "modern human" and his vision of the world, which he attacks severely and cynically, and towards which he develops aggression and vengefulness.

He considers his own decline natural and necessary. Although he emphasises that he does not intend to publish his notes for the public, the narrator appeals repeatedly to an ill-described audience, whose questions he tries to address. In the second part he describes scenes from his life that are responsible for his failure in personal and professional life and in his love life. He tells of meeting old school friends, who are in secure positions and treat him with condescension.

His aggression turns inward on to himself and he tries to humiliate himself further. He presents himself as a possible saviour to the poor prostitute Lisa, advising her to reject self-reproach when she looks to him for hope. Dostoevsky added a short commentary saying that although the storyline and characters are fictional, such things were inevitable in contemporary society. The Underground Man was very influential on philosophers. His alienated existence from the mainstream influenced modernist literature.

Crime and Punishment describes Rodion Raskolnikov 's life, from the murder of a pawnbroker and her sister, through spiritual regeneration with the help of Sonya a " hooker with a heart of gold " , to his sentence in Siberia. Strakhov liked the novel, remarking that "Only Crime and Punishment was read in " and that Dostoevsky had managed to portray a Russian person aptly and realistically.

Grigory Eliseev of the radical magazine The Contemporary called the novel a "fantasy according to which the entire student body is accused without exception of attempting murder and robbery". The novel's protagonist, the year-old Prince Myshkin , returns to Russia after several years at a Swiss sanatorium. Scorned by Saint Petersburg society for his trusting nature and naivety, he finds himself at the center of a struggle between a beautiful kept woman, Nastasya, and a jealous but pretty young girl, Aglaya, both of whom win his affection.

Unfortunately, Myshkin's goodness precipitates disaster, leaving the impression that, in a world obsessed with money, power and sexual conquest, a sanatorium may be the only place for a saint.

Myshkin is the personification of a "relatively beautiful man", namely Christ. Coming "from above" the Swiss mountains , he physically resembles common depictions of Jesus Christ : slightly larger than average, with thick, blond hair, sunken cheeks and a thin, almost entirely white goatee. Like Christ, Myshkin is a teacher, confessor and mysterious outsider. Passions such as greed and jealousy are alien to him. In contrast to those around him, he puts no value on money and power.

He feels compassion and love, sincerely, without judgment. His relationship with the immoral Nastasya is obviously inspired by Christ's relationship with Mary Magdalene. He is called "Idiot" because of such differences. It was influenced by the Book of Revelation. Stepan's son Pyotr is an aspiring revolutionary conspirator who attempts to organise revolutionaries in the area.

He considers Varvara's son Nikolai central to his plot, because he thinks that Nikolai lacks sympathy for mankind. Pyotr gathers conspirators such as the philosophising Shigalyov, the suicidal Kirillov and the former military man Virginsky. He schemes to consolidate their loyalty to him and each other by murdering Ivan Shatov, a fellow conspirator.

Pyotr plans to have Kirillov, who is committed to killing himself, take credit for the murder in his suicide note. Kirillov complies and Pyotr murders Shatov, but his scheme goes awry. Pyotr escapes, but the remainder of his aspiring revolutionary crew is arrested. In the denouement, Nikolai kills himself, tortured by his own misdeeds. At nearly pages, The Brothers Karamazov is Dostoevsky's largest work. It received both critical and popular acclaim and is often cited as his magnum opus. The first books introduce the Karamazovs.

The main plot is the death of their father Fyodor, while other parts are philosophical and religious arguments by Father Zosima to Alyosha. Instead of answering him, Christ gives him a kiss, and the Inquisitor subsequently releases him, telling him not to return. The tale was misunderstood as a defence of the Inquisitor, but some, such as Romano Guardini , have argued that the Christ of the parable was Ivan's own interpretation of Christ, "the idealistic product of the unbelief".

Ivan, however, has stated that he is against Christ. Most contemporary critics and scholars agree that Dostoevsky is attacking Roman Catholicism and socialist atheism, both represented by the Inquisitor. He warns the readers against a terrible revelation in the future, referring to the Donation of Pepin around and the Spanish Inquisition in the 16th century, which in his view corrupted true Christianity.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Russian author.

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For the surname, see Dostoevsky surname. This name uses Eastern Slavic naming customs ; the patronymic is Mikhailovich and the family name is Dostoevsky. Military engineer novelist journalist. Maria Dmitriyevna Isaeva m. Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina m. Sonya Lyubov — Fyodor — Alexey — Main article: Themes in Fyodor Dostoevsky's writings. Main article: Poor Folk. Main article: Notes from Underground. Main article: Crime and Punishment. Main article: The Idiot. Main article: Demons Dostoevsky novel. Main article: The Brothers Karamazov. Main article: Fyodor Dostoevsky bibliography.

Vremya and its successor Epokha expressed the philosophy of the conservative and Slavophile movement Pochvennichestvo , supported by Dostoevsky during his term of imprisonment and in the following years. According to biographer Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky took that as a sign not to gamble any more. Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. Dostoevsky the Thinker: A Philosophical Study. Cornell University Press. Handbook of Russian Literature. Yale University Press. Dostoevsky's Democracy. Princeton University Press. Letter to Gogol. Retrieved on 27 December Anthem Press. The Dostoyevsky Encyclopedia in Russian.

Retrieved 5 November Dostoevsky Literary Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on 25 March Dostoyevsky: A Human Portrait , Knopf, , p. Northwestern University Press. Retrieved 3 July Commentary Magazine. Selected Letters of Fyodor Dostoevsky. Cambridge Studies in Russian Literature. Cambridge University Press. Dostoyevsky and the Process of Literary Creation. Edited and translated by Caryl Emerson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Einstein and Soviet Ideology. Physics Today.

Stanford University Press. Bibcode : PhT Academic Foundation. Conversations with James Joyce. University of Toronto. Archived from the original on 12 September The Common Reader. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Archived from the original on 13 June Kafka: Gothic and Fairytale. Written at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Dostoevsky Studies. Freud, the Mind of the Moralist 3rd ed. University of Chicago Press. The Romantic Manifesto. Archived from the original on 17 January Retrieved 20 April The Hindu. Name of Russia. Moscow Metro. Archived from the original on 10 March Lectures on Russian Literature.

Oxford University Press. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 29 October Edinburgh University Press. The Concept of Modernism. Ragozin Ed. New York: G. Putnam's Sons, Bercken, Wil van den Bloshteyn, Maria R. University of Toronto Press. Breger, Louis Dostoevsky: The Author As Psychoanalyst. Transaction Publishers. Burry, Alexander Cassedy, Steven Dostoevsky's Religion. Cicovacki, Predrag Dostoevsky and the Affirmation of Life.

Frank, Joseph In Goldstein, David ed. Dostoevsky and the Jews.