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Power of GentlenessMeditations on the Risk of Living$
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Anne Dufourmantelle

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279586

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279586.001.0001

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(p.72) Cruelties
Power of Gentleness

Anne Dufourmantelle

, Katherine Payne, Vincent Sallé
Fordham University Press

Dufourmantelle discusses the character Piotr Stepanovich Stavrogin in Dostoevsky’s The Devils as an inverted Christ figure. He embodies a gentleness of extreme savagery to the extent that he moves forward while exposing himself all the time, such as he is, openly transgressing laws and customs without any of the false pretences held by his contemporaries. Gentleness is the temptation of the executioner. Gentleness has always sheltered horror.

Keywords:   cruelty, death, Dostoyevsky, evil, execution, gentleness, savagery, thought, violence

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