Dostoyevski’s Demons

Photo from Daily Telegraph
Photo from Daily Telegraph

A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. Luke 8:26-39


This brilliant novel can be introduced as Dostoyevski’s anti-nilihist anti-socialist work. It can be considered as a harsh critique of both of these ideologies which rejected affects of religion and church over people at the time. While providing ideological critique, Dostoyevski points out the following parts as negative aspects of these movements:

*A common war against tradition and values of the society in which they flourish

*Common European roots of the ideology which hampers them to understand realities of Russian culture at the time

*Their inevitable tendency to violence as means to reach their objectives

*Their mobilization of workers as another means to arrive certain ends

*Their unorganized, and rootless character which lacks a certain belief system

*Certain leader’s abuse of common people for their different aims.

Russian Atheism has never gone further than making a joke.

On the other hand, Dostoyevski does not avoid to criticize conservatism too.

Man is unhappy because he doesn’t know he’s happy. It’s only that.

Conservatism’s failure to deal with modern revolutionary ideals is also underlined via different characters in the book. City governor’s day-dreamer mood during times of revolutionary break troughs is worth to mention as a representation of conservatism’s position against people’s seek for more democracy and power. Also, day’s elite’s lust for luxury and high social standards is criticized as blindfolding them towards newly appearing movements in the country.

 One must really be a great man to be able to make a stand even against common sense.

The touching quote from Bible at the beginning of this piece takes place in Demons’ first page. As I read thoroughly, I realized this possessed man represents Russian Empire which is poisoned by foreign ideologies as Dostoyevski claims. Dostoyevski also points a finger to sacred (or conservative) truth which he believes Russian Empire’s only independence lies within. For me, Dostoyevski as an idealist conservative tries to tell us that exported ideologies are mortal unless they are fed by realities, beliefs and culture of the society within which they appear. Otherwise, as is repeatedly said “revolution devours its own children”.

The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

“The repeated “success, scale, fail” experience of the last 20 years of development practice suggests something super boring: Development projects thrive or tank according to the specific dynamics of the place in which they’re applied. It’s not that you test something in one place, then scale it up to 50. It’s that you test it in one place, then test it in another, then another. No one will ever be invited to explain that in a TED talk”. Stop trying to save the world


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Distopian Movies 101

Would not it be great if I was crazy. Then the world would be ok.

Twelve monkeys

I have long wanted to write something on distopian literature. Dystopia as opposite to utopia basically means negative prospects and presentation of future in literature and cinema.

I started watching movies which dwell on issues such as negative aspects of hyper scientific developments on human’s life, role of authority and power on new societies and individual’s role in this picture. I saw movies like Splice, Surrogates, 1984, Gattaca, 12 Monkeys


Basically all movies presents a major shift in authority: From humans to robots, computers, a new system, a major charismatic leader or hyper technological devices. At the same time they play with the perception of truth as it obviously happens in Matrix movies.


What is real? How do you define real? If you’re talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.

Do not try to bend the spoon — that’s impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth: there is no spoon. The Matrix

—-Spoiler alert on Matrix movie —- (Come on you should have seen it until now)

And unfortunately, distopian literature mostly do not have happy endings at it happens in Matrix in form of Neo’s reach to his ultimate, true self.

Worth to mention, utopian movies also present human’s urge to seek a hero, a savior. In Splice the scientist hope that their discoveries will save the world and open way to cure for uncurable illnesses. In Matrix, they basically follow prophecies to reach the One, the savior. In Surrogates, people even do not understand that they ask for a hero.

I want to continue to this topic later on. If you have any ideas or articles to share, pls do not hesitate.

My name is Dilek.

It is me with my personal parodies: Such as starting blogging in Ethiopia where internet connection is a failure most of the time. Seriously a simple posting takes an hour. That is who I am. When I decide to start something I choose the most exhausting time or thing to do. So I can say I do not have the most exciting life but I just do not have the most boring one either thanks to my ironies.

As Montaigne put it decades before me: I try my best to be the universe for myself when I am totally deserted.

So that is who I am a PhD candidate in Sociology, starting a blog for my valuable notes from books, movies and to post pictures of my artistic hobby woodcut printing… instead of writing my long lived PhD thesis. There are rumors that you graduate somehow so I belive them.

Below (or somewhere around) you will see my first woodcut print work (Do not yike me, you did worse when you first started blogging or woodcut printing). I will try to add as much as notes on books, coffee, art and movies as much as my thesis allows me. Just do not forget to remind me to go back to my thesis if you see my posts more frequently then you expect.


Last month I moved to Vilnius, Lithuania. Such a beautiful city! I will continue  my posts with romantic autumn pictures probably.

Here is my contact information: