Petersburg (B-Format Paperback) Paperback – 7 Sep 2010
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The most important, most influential, and most perfectly realized Russian novel written in the 20th century (The New York Times Book Review)
This modernist novel, rightly regarded as one of the pinnacles of twentieth-century Russian literature, presents great challenges to the translator. With unswerving loyalty to the original, Elsworth has succeeded in capturing its idiosyncratic rhythms and elusive layers of meaning, producing a masterful translation that reads like a work of art in its own right (2012 Rossica Prize Judging Panel)
One of the four most important works of twentieth century literature (Vladimir Nabokov)
About the Author
Andrei Bely (whose real name was Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev), was born in 1880 into a family of illustrious intellectuals. Bely's writing heavily influenced the Russian Symbolist movement and the subsequent Modernist school - his significance in world literature is often compared to that of James Joyce. He died in Moscow in January 1934.
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Top Customer Reviews
The basic story is that father Apollonovich, the aged Senator (I took to representing old Russia) is the target for assassination by a radical group headed by Lippendenko and students including Alexandr Ivanovich (perhaps representing New Russia). The senator's son, Nikolai, has fallen in with the group mainly to get to know Sofia, his mate's wife; and because he boasts of hating his father, gets embroiled in the bomb plot. We learn that this father-son relationship, being the long and pivotable, deep thread of the story, centres on the fact that Anna Petrovna, the mother had run off to Spain with another man. There are several side characters including Sergei Likhutin (Sofia's husband) and the families' staff members. There are many intregues and motives from the characters and a couple of revelations which keep you wondering (I'd be honest, a murder occurs at the end and the reasons for it were lost on me)
This is remarkable literature and appears to be a brilliant translation, the narrative style is brilliant. I can't quite explain but the language is detailed, magical realismesque, retrospective and in places dream-like - most of the characters seem to have phases of unreality and waking dreams. You'll read this book for reading sake.Read more ›