Literary St. Petersburg: A Guide to the City and Its Writers

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New York Review of Books, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 137 pages
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Much of Russian literature is St. Petersburg literature: set in the city, about the city, or written by writers who lived there. For each of the fifteen profiled writers, there is a biographical sketch focusing on his or her relationship to the city and a sense of his or her work, along with a list of St. Petersburg sites associated with the writer and the literary works.

Travelers can wander through the museum where a teenage Vladimir Nabokov romanced his girlfriend and see the prison where Anna Akhmatova was inspired to write her poem about the Great Terror. They can find the statue that comes to life in Pushkin’s poem The Bronze Horseman and visit the square where Crime and Punishment’s murderer/hero kneels to ask God’s forgiveness.

The images included are particularly striking: a photo taken in the courtroom where the young Joseph Brodsky made his electrifying defense of his credentials as a poet; a portrait of Akhmatova, a symbol of artistic integrity in the face of the most severe persecution; and documentary photographs spanning the upheavals of twentieth century Russia.

Authors included are: Anna Akhmatova, Andrei Bely, Aleksandr Blok, Joseph Brodsky, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Daniil Kharms, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Osip Mandelstam, Vladimir Nabokov, Alexander Pushkin, Leo Tolstoy, Ivan Turgenev, Yevgeny Zamyatin, Mikhail Zoshchenko.
 

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Contents

INTRODUCTION p
7
ALEXANDER PUSHKIN p
15
FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY 0
41
YEVGENY ZAMYATIN p
75
OSIP MANDELSTAM p
93
VLADIMIR MAYAKOVSKY A
102
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY p
132
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About the author (2006)

Elaine Blair was born in St. Petersburg. She is on the staff of The New York Review of Books. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Review of Books, The American Scholar, The Nation, Slate, and The Village Voice.

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