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Petersburgo (1916)

de Andrei Bely

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
1,3622011,193 (4.05)1 / 67
Andrei Bely's novel Petersburg is considered one of the four greatest prose masterpieces of the 20th century. In this new edition of the best-selling translation, the reader will have access to the translators' detailed commentary, which provides the necessary historical and literary context for understanding the novel, as well as a foreword by Olga Matich, acclaimed scholar of Russian literature. Set in 1905 in St. Petersburg, a city in the throes of sociopolitical conflict, the novel follows university student Nikolai Apollonovich Ableukhov, who has gotten entangled with a revolutionary terrorist organization with plans to assassinate a government official-Nikolai's own father, Apollon Apollonovich Ableukhov. With a sprawling cast of characters, set against a nightmarish city, it is all at once a historical, political, philosophical, and darkly comedic novel.… (més)
  1. 20
    Dimonis de Fyodor Dostoyevsky (kitzyl)
    kitzyl: "The turbulent late years of the Russian empire produced not one but two novels about terrorist plots that abound in images of carnivalesque horror. Dostoevsky’s Demons (1873) and Andrei Bely’s Petersburg (1913, revised 1922 [!]) both dramatize the activities of radical terrorist groups. Members of terrorist cells engaged in secretly planned and spectacularly performed acts of violence, and both Dostoevsky and Bely employ theatrical imagery to represent the dual nature of terror, as a both private and public phenomenon. This theatricality ranges from Shakespearean allusions to acts of costuming and scripting to images of puppets and clowns." Issue 35 of Hypocrite Reader… (més)
  2. 20
    The Case of Comrade Tulayev de Victor Serge (uru)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 20 (següent | mostra-les totes)
First, what Petersburgs is not. A beach read. There is nothing simple about Petersburg. Even the plot, which on the surface seems simple, is just a framework on which hangs the complex experiences of its characters.

I came to this work knowing nothing of Bely or the Symbolist movement of which he was a part. The work's introduction was of great help but didn't begin to unravel the depth of the work. It became obvious the work was a masterpiece but also one that deserved serious and in-depth attention. I felt the work would make an excellent focus for Masters or Doctoral study.

The author uses unique literary techniques to reveal multiple facets of both characters and setting. Reality is not so much broken apart as it is opened up to view what's inside. I felt somwhat like a tourist observing and appreciating a wonderful scene but not taking the time to explore the depths of what I see. Probably would have been better to have read at a younger age when time didn't seem like such a precious commodity. The work deserves serious attention. ( )
  colligan | Oct 29, 2021 |
Petersburg is an exhausting book. Not exhausting in the sense that you just want to crawl off to bed, but rather exhausting because it is full of motion; there is no rest. Things are always moving, they never stay still. Just when the reader might think there is a pause, Bely will repeat some actions, some sentences.

All this movement is accompanied by colours and sound, often smells, adding layers of depth to the narrative.
The Petersburg street in autumn penetrates your whole organism: it turns the marrow of your bones to ice and tickles your freezing spine; but as soon as you escape from it into a warm room, the Petersburg street flows in your veins like a fever. The stranger now experienced the quality of this street as he entered a grimy vestibule, densely crammed with black, blue, grey and yellow overcoats, swanky hats, lop-eared hats, dock-tailed hats, and galoshes of every description. A warm dampness enveloped him; in the air hung a milky steam: steam that smelled of the pancakes.

As the book progresses, it becomes clear that the different colours represent different people and states of mind. A character's change of colour choice often indicates a change of mind. The one constant is the green swirling mist, coming in off the marshes, hiding who knows what, enveloping the Bronze Horseman who created it all. There is a threat out there, undefined as yet, but in October 1905 Petersburg, everyone sensed it.

Just like navigating in a mist, nothing is ever clear. There is a plot on the part of radicals to kill a high government official, but who dreamed it up? Was it the person entrusted to carry out the assassination, or was it the bomb-maker, the Fugitive? Maybe it was even the Person, he who directs it all (maybe). The designated killer and the Fugitive both obsess over ten days until nothing is clear to either. The reader too is often left befuddled until the action circles around again and more is revealed and then a bit more.

This world of obsession and hallucination makes the omniscient narrator work hard; circling back, making connections, speaking up when things get too absurd. Nothing is sure until the very end, when suddenly everything is resolved.

This is a book I imagine people spend years studying, reading it over and over. Despite an excellent translation, I suspect it can only ever be fully grasped in the original Russian. This Pushkin edition did not have notes and they were sorely missed. Reading it, there was always a feeling of "If only I knew more about..."; "If only I knew more about the accepted stereotypes behind regions and family names"; "If only...". This is not to take away from the book in any way whatsoever. Rather, it is to suggest that there is always something more [Petersburg] has to offer the reader. As the quote from the New York Times Book Review on the back cover put it, this book is regarded by many as "The most important, most influential, and most perfectly realized Russian novel written in the twentieth century."
1 vota SassyLassy | Dec 30, 2020 |
This is a difficult book - at least it was for me. However, it is worth the effort and I am glad I persevered.
It meanders all over the place and time. The main plot is almost secondary to the many distractions along the way. The city itself is a primary character with many moods but mostly brooding and cold and menacing. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Apr 4, 2020 |
Yana N.

Yana N.'s Reviews > Petersburg
Petersburg by Andrei Bely
Petersburg
by Andrei Bely, J.D. Elsworth (Translator)
44823137
Yana N.'s review
Oct 06, 2017 · edit

it was amazing
bookshelves: classics, fiction, russian

Amazing. I can barely find words to describe this book, not least because anything I write seems stale in comparison to Bely's prickly prose. Where to begin? Petersburg is not a novel that can be described - it is much greater than the sum of its parts, which themselves are considerable. A story about a father and a son, about a city and a swamp, about the absurdity of life. A summary? When Nikolai Apollonovich is charged with a mission to assassinate his own father by bomb, chaos ensues. And what chaos...

The plot itself takes the backseat to the unimaginably exceptional prose of this novel. The descriptions of hallucinations, of the ever-present Petersburg mists, of the tender gaze that burgeons between Apollon Apollonovich and Anna Petrovna - all of it is simply brilliant! There is such a richness of imagery, such inventive forms and metaphors, a fascinating use of recurring images and fixed expressions as in an ancient epic, a wealth of biblical allusions and style that makes one's heart pound in visceral reaction. The depth of abstract feeling that assails the characters is rendered to perfection in its intensity and complexity. The density of prose and opaqueness of certain turns of phrase do nothing to take away from that experience of perfect unity with the characters, with the city, with Bely's entire universe, which sucked me in and still won't let me out. There is even something fitting about the fact that I didn't understand everything, that certain references went over my head and that more than one or two words might have necessitated a trip to the dictionary... This is not a book to be understood, but one to be felt in the flesh. I am simply beside myself, so I'll just stop here. Maybe when I reread Petersburg one day, I will manage a more coherent review. For now, I will just bask in the wonder that was this novel. ( )
  bulgarianrose | Mar 13, 2018 |
Definitely a strange book. At first glance a Laurence Stern ramble full of digressions. But the book was written, rewritten and revised many times over many years. If it is a ramble it is a very deliberate one. A very conscious adoption of a specific style carried through with great imagination and persistence. A drift from figurative to impressionism tending towards abstract in literature rather than art. Thanks to the extensive footnotes a realisation that there is much, much more to this than a casual reading gives. ( )
  Steve38 | Jul 25, 2017 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Andrei Belyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Elsworth, JohnTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Leupold, GabrieleÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Maguire, Robert A.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Malmstad, John E.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ripellino, Angelo MariaIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ripellino, Angelo MariaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Timmer, Charles B.Traductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Andrei Bely's novel Petersburg is considered one of the four greatest prose masterpieces of the 20th century. In this new edition of the best-selling translation, the reader will have access to the translators' detailed commentary, which provides the necessary historical and literary context for understanding the novel, as well as a foreword by Olga Matich, acclaimed scholar of Russian literature. Set in 1905 in St. Petersburg, a city in the throes of sociopolitical conflict, the novel follows university student Nikolai Apollonovich Ableukhov, who has gotten entangled with a revolutionary terrorist organization with plans to assassinate a government official-Nikolai's own father, Apollon Apollonovich Ableukhov. With a sprawling cast of characters, set against a nightmarish city, it is all at once a historical, political, philosophical, and darkly comedic novel.

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