Leonid Livak (ed.), A Reader's Guide to Andrei Bely's "Petersburg", Madison, University of Wisconsin Press, 2018, 248 p.
About the book
Andrei Bely's 1913 masterwork Petersburg is widely regarded as the most important Russian novel of the twentieth century. Vladimir Nabokov ranked it with James Joyce's Ulysses, Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, and Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time. Few artistic works created before the First World War encapsulate and articulate the sensibility, ideas, phobias, and aspirations of Russian and transnational modernism as comprehensively.
Bely expected his audience to participate in unraveling the work's many meanings, narrative strains, and patterns of details. In their essays, the contributors clarify these complexities, summarize the intellectual and artistic contexts that informed Petersburg's creation and reception, and review the interpretive possibilities contained in the novel. This volume will aid a broad audience of Anglophone readers in understanding and appreciating Petersburg.