Andrey Bely’s “Petersburg”
Celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of Andrey Bely’s Petersburg, this volume offers a cross-section of essays that address the most pertinent aspects of his 1916 masterpiece. The plot is relatively a simple one: Nikolai Apollonovich is ordered by a group of terrorists to assassinate his father, the prominent senator, Apollon Apollonovich Ableukhov. Nevertheless, Bely’s polyphonic, experimental prose invokes such diverse themes as: Greek mythology, the apocalypse, family dynamics, psychology, Russian history, theosophy, revolution, and European literary influences. Considered by Vladimir Nabokov to be one of the twentieth century’s four greatest masterpieces, Petersburg is the first novel in which the city is the hero. Frequently compared to Joyce’s Ulysses, no novel did more to help launch modernism in turn-of-the century Russia.
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