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Petersburg (B-Format Paperback) Paperback – 7 Sep 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Pushkin Press; 2nd edition edition (7 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906548439
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906548438
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 546,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story is a long (and I mean 564 pages of text) and winding narrative centred in Petersburg in 1905. It relays the approximate 10 days in the relationships of the Ableukhov family whilst the turmoil of the civilian uprising of the October Manifesto period. It was written in 1916 and is compared to James Joyce for its influence on 20th century Russian literature.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An insight into the mindset of pre-revolutionary Russia elite thinking, and the necessity of what came immediately next.
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