Letters from St. Petersburg

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Allen & Unwin, 2004 - Art - 287 pages
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With its shimmering palaces and decaying mansions, enchanted forests and basements full of Soviet art, the history of St. Petersburg comes alive in this memoir of one art devotee's journey to reveal the strength and wonder behind Russia's crumbling facades. These writings reflect the author's experiences in the artistic landscapes she inhabits, from the eerie beauty of Dostoevski's streets on a white night to stories of struggling artists and dignified intellectuals eking out existences in claustrophobic studio apartments. A compelling immersion into the Russia of today, this travel narrative shows St. Petersberg to be a city of ghosts and illusions where past and present and reality and fiction are inextricably fused.

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Letters from St. Petersburg

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

St. Petersburg is a city filled with huge contradictions,a place where gracious palaces, world art, and elegant 19th-century buildings vie with Stalin-era derelict apartments, poor utilities, and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Morena - LibraryThing

Very interesting, in a disturbing kind of way. Hammond definately has a flair for the dramatic, and describes the substandard living conditions of many in St. Petersburg well. Read full review


Hell and its prospects
The enchanted forest V
Letter from St Petersburg
Man with a video camera
Museum of my dreams i
Raskolnikov on a white night
Palace of illusions
New world
Forbidden City M
Petrozavodsk post
Siberian wolf

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Popular passages

Page 105 - ... encounter of an umbrella and a sewing machine on a dissecting table.
Page 140 - After a moment, during which the tension in the air could have been cut with a knife, the leader barked some command to his warriors.
Page 45 - I put my hand over his mouth to shut him up and suddenly I realized that he'd stopped breathing and was quite limp.
Page 114 - Peter died unexpectedly in 1725, at the age of fifty-three, from complications resulting from a chill after he dived into the icy sea to rescue some sailors whose boat had capsized.
Page 8 - I'd decided it was time for me to leave, but I didn't want to go back to Melbourne yet. Carlotta suggested "Why don't you go to the other end of the world. Go to Russia.

About the author (2004)

Victoria Hammond is the author of A Century of Australian Women Artists and Completing the Picture: Women Artists and the Heidelberg Era. She is a former director of the Shepparton Art Gallery and guest curator at the National Gallery of Victoria where she curated numerous national exhibitions.

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