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Petersburg Read & download º 2 Ø Andrei Bely's masterpiece Petersburg is a vivid striking story set at the heart of the 1905 Russian revolution This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Russian by David McDuff with an introduction by Adam ThirlwellSt Petersburg 1905 An impressionable young university student Nikolai becomes involved with aAcy and revolution It is also an impressionistic exhilarating panorama of the city itself watched over by the bronze statue of Peter the Great as it tears itself apart Considered by writers such as Vladimir Nabokov to be one of the greatest masterpieces of the twentieth century Bely's richly textured darkly comic and symbolic novel pulled apart the traditional techniues of storytelling and presaged the dawn of a new form of literatureThis acclaimed translation captures all the idiosyncrasies and rhythms of Bely's extraordinary prose It is accompanied by an introduction by Adam Thirwell discussing. The Bronze Horseman descends from his pedestal and goes visiting at night it turns out that he smokes a pipe view spoiler and indeed generally appears to have calmed down since the days of Pushkin's poem hide spoiler

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The novel's themes extraordinary style and influenceAndrei Bely 1880 1934 born Boris Nikolaevich Bugaev was educated at Moscow University where he studied science and philosophy before turning his focus to literature In 1904 he published his first collection of poems Gold in Azure which was followed in 1909 by his first novel The Silver Dove Bely's most famous novel Petersburg was published in 1916 His work is considered to have heavily influenced several literary schools most notably Symbolism and his impact on Russian writing has been compared to that of James Joyce on the English speaking wor. As a result in part of it's history going many years without publication outside of the USSR Andrei Bely's Petersburg first written in 1913 and not translated to English until 1959 is woefully under read It is perhaps most often read nowadays for the praise it received of Vladimir Nabokov who ranked it among Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu Joyce's Ulysses and Kafka's Metamorphosis as the twentieth century's greatest novels It is deserving of significant praise though it's ranking of top four for the century bears it tough competition from Woolf James Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and Nabokov's own Lolita Despite this considerable competition it belongs on far Top 100 lists than I have seen it on none and for that reason I feel compelled to review it on here to perhaps win over some unbeknownst to themselves Bely fans Perambulatory fiction a tradition which symmetrically begins with Homer's Odyssey and comes to fruition in Joyce's Ulysses and Dubliners and Woolf's Mrs Dalloway has become almost a characteristic of modernist literature though of course it is uite timeless Through literary walks cities unfold Joyce's Dublin Dickins's London Balzac's Paris and Proust's Combray though partially fictional but among these literary vistas ranks the superb portrayal of Bely's Petersburg Petersburg PetersburgSediment of mist you have pursued me too with idle cerebral play you are a cruel hearted tormenter; you are a restless ghost; for years you used to assail me; I would run along your terrible Prospects and my impetus would carry me up on to that cast iron bridge which starts from the edge of the world and leads to the limitless distance; beyond the Neva in the green distance of the other world—the ghosts of islands and houses rose seducing me with the vain hope that that land was real and not—a howling endlessness that drives the pale smoke of clouds out on to the Petersburg streets Hearkening back to epic poets Bely often invokes his muse the very Petersburg of which he writes but she is a shadowy muse the penumbral underside of Enlightenment the sinister apparition of revolution and dischord Also like The Odyssey and other Greek and Roman epics Petersburg utilizes repetitions and distinguishing personal epithets to both set the recursive staging of daily routine in the city and also to establish the unconcern of the city Petersburg with the goings on of its characters and drama Through even the greatest of human follies the city remains immutably remote while also disturbingly human chillingly reactive In addition to the literal characterization of Petersburg there is another remote actor upon the proscenium of Petersburg which is Bely himself or an authorial fiction unto himself Often the story is interjected with an almost post modern self awareness as a novel one which follows the tradition of Thackeray's Vanity Fair which both assures us of the veracity of the story but also draws our attention to its existence as an artifice or work of artWhat might surprise many a reader of modernist fiction is that the story is uite plotted the pace is uite uick We follow the guilt tormented revolutionary Nikolai Apollonovich Ableukov a senator's son in his mad walks along the Neva in his masuerading as a red domino to terrorize his abandoned love Sofya in his sub rosa dealings with shadowy spectors Dudkin and Lippanchenko The tick tock tick of the sardine can bomb which he has agreed to set in his father's room a patricide promise which he is loath to keep but feels he cannot escape But throughout this political intrigue and near parody of Crime and Punishment

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PetersburgAndrei Bely's masterpiece Petersburg is a vivid striking story set at the heart of the 1905 Russian revolution This Penguin Classics edition is translated from the Russian by David McDuff with an introduction by Adam ThirlwellSt Petersburg 1905 An impressionable young university student Nikolai becomes involved with a revolutionary terror organization which plans to assassinate a high government official with a time bomb But the official is Nikolai's cold unyielding father Apollon and in twenty four hours the bomb will explode Petersburg is a story of suspense family dysfunction patricide conspir. The twin spires of Time and Light stand out for me on the busy skyline of this phenomenal book Time counts down the narrative while Light provides the special effects that rhythm the ebb and flow of the truly idiosyncratic counting down process Yes 'ebb and flow is appropriate to mention here We expect Time to move only in one direction and always at the same pace according to the age old rules but Bely's Time strikes right through the rule book It doubles back and when it's not busy reversing it suddenly speeds up in a thunderous wave or even bizarrely slows down to a complete stop The exclamation mark at the end of that sentence is there for than exclamatory purposes Bely uses exclamation marks as if they'd just been invented; sometimes they even mark pauses especially when the narrative has gone into one of its fast forward modes and the reader is at risk of collapsing from the exhaustion of keeping up Then Bely drops an exclamation mark onto the page followed by an ellipsis or two and some blank space and our hearts return to normal rhythm and we take time to rethink what we've just read realising that it may only have been an hallucination on the part of a character—or even a hallucination of our own When the blank space becomes print again we invariably find the clock has been wound back once so that we are being shown the same scene from a different point of view and what seemed utterly phantasmagorical a few moments before becomes just an ordinary Petersburg night with a few trees tossing about on the city's main thoroughfare the Nevsky Prospect But even a regular windy night can seem bizarre when Bely gives it his Light treatment The sky is often greenish or pewter coloured; the Nevsky Prospect is enveloped in a fiery murk; street lights are blood red pinpoints; the roofs of houses give off a phosphorescent sheen; passersby are reduced to shadows while shadows suddenly form themselves into passersby Alongside the oddly ticking Time this playing around with Light leaves us uncertain about what we've just read Does the crimson sky indicate morning or is it actually evening Is that building really adorned with black lace or is it only the shadow of the trees Did the statue of the famous Bronze Horseman just thunder down from its giant plinth to chase a character through the city as in Pushkin's poem of the same name Or was it a trick of the Light—in collusion with some phantom Sound engineer Yes Sound works closely with Light to make us very wary of Petersburg's grey and foggy streets They seem to echo all the time with a ghostly 'ooo and even when we stop reading we think we can still hear it ooo ooo oooOf course the year is 1905 when 'revoloootion was in the air and that backdrop is partly responsible for some of the sounds we think we hear as we read such as the whoosh of gravel thrown at a window by a mob or the clicking sound in the corner of a room that could simply be a cockroach or a mouse but could also be something much menacing Then there's the constant whistle of steamboats out on the Neva and the 'i sound that the wind carries from across Russia the sound of public ire of strikes of picket lines of every Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov marching marching marching Footsteps rhythm the story tatam tam tamtatatam tam tam perhaps while a character thinks about the music of Tchaikovsky's ueen of Spades or on a different page a different character plucks the strings of a guitar bam bam bam strumming out what could be the line of the narrative but then breaking offmid lineThe line of the narrative if it could be traced on paper might follow this odd pattern That graphic representation of a narrative arc was made by Laurence Sterne nearly 200 years