St Petersburg: A Cultural History

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9780684832968: St Petersburg: A Cultural History

A compelling portrait of a city and its transcendent artistic and spiritual legacy-written by a cultural historian who has known some of the greatest figures of modern St. Petersburg, including Balanchine, Shostakovich, Akhmatova, and Brodsky. "A rich and enjoyable work". -"The Economist". of photos.

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From the Back Cover:

St Petersburg is one of the world?s most beautiful cities. Most of its baroque and neoclassical palaces and churches are modelled on those of Italy and France, in turn inspired by the temples of classical Greek and Rome. Yet it is situated on a swamp, a location so insalubrious that it took the lives of the thousands who built the city. Founded by Peter the Great on land seized from Sweden in 1703, the Tsar made it into his new capital and Russia?s gateway to Europe. Guarded by the Kronstadt Fortress, it was never conquered and under his successors the city achieved a splendour and cultural richness that vied with other European capitals. After the Golden Age of the 1830s when Pushkin and Lermontov wrote some of Russia?s greatest literature, famine and war would undermine political and cultural life, and the Revolution led to calamity. Nonetheless, in the dying embers of the old regime, music, art and theatre all thrived, creating a Silver Age which brought the city renewed renown. During the Soviet period, the city, renamed Leningrad, fell into a Cinderella-like slumber, with Moscow taking primacy. Yet it survived both wars to enjoy a revival after the fall of the Soviet Union under its old name. Neil Kent considers the extraordinary history of St Petersburg along with its political, religious, cultural and social dimensions, rich in stories and anecdotes from its various periods. Its musical heritage is unrivalled: Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov are all associated with the city. A walk today through the streets and courtyards evokes the world of Dostoyevsky who immortalized its violent underbelly in his 1865 novel Crime and Punishment. He turned to Orthodoxy for inspiration, as does the modern city today. This revival has been multifaceted, its pictorial glories on display in the Russian Museum and Hermitage Gallery. As Kent stresses, St Petersburg remains a city of paradox, full of tragedy but also of breathtaking beauty and endurance.

About the Author:

Volkov was born in Russia and studies violin at the Leningrad Conservatory, receiving his diploma with honors. He has served as the artistic director of the Experimental Studio of Chamber Opera.

Solomon Volkov is the award-winning author of several notable books about Russian culture, including "St. Petersburg: A Cultural History" and "Shostakovich and Stalin," published worldwide. After moving to the United States from the Soviet Union, he became a cultural commentator for Voice of America and later for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, broadcasting to the USSR (and later, Russia), where he discussed contemporary artistic developments in his former homeland. He lives in New York City with his wife, Marianna.
The prizewinning translator Antonina W. Bouis is known for her work with contemporary Russian literature.

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Descripción SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Long considered to be the mad dream of an imperious autocrat - the Venice of the North, conceived in a setting of malarial swamps - St. Petersburg was built in 1703 by Peter the Great as Russia s gateway to the West. For almost 300 years this splendid city has survived the most extreme attempts of man and nature to extinguish it, from flood, famine, and disease to civil war, Stalinist purges, and the epic 900-day siege by Hitler s armies. It has even been renamed twice, and became St. Petersburg again only in 1991. Yet not only has it retained its special, almost mystical identity as the schizophrenic soul of modern Russia, but it remains one of the most beautiful and alluring cities in the world.Every great city creates its own image in literature and art, and Petersburg is no exception. For Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoyevsky, Petersburg was a spectral city that symbolized the near-apocalyptic conflicts of imperial Russia. As the monarchy declined, allowing intellectuals and artists to flourish, Petersburg became a center of avant-garde experiment and flamboyant bohemian challenge to the dominating power of the state, first czarist and then communist.The names of the Russian modern masters who found expression in St. Petersburg still resonate powerfully in every field of art: in music, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich; in literature, Akhmatova, Blok, Mandelstam, Nabokov, and Brodsky; in dance, Diaghilev, Nijinsky, and Balanchine; in theater, Meyerhold; in painting, Chagall and Malevich; and many others, whose works are now part of the permanent fabric of Western civilization. Yet no comprehensive portrait of this thriving distinctive, and highly influential cosmopolitan culture, and the city that inspired it, has previously been attempted.Now Solomon Volkov, a Russian emigre and acclaimed cultural historian, has written the definitive cultural biography of this city and its transcendent artistic and spiritual legacy. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780684832968

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Descripción SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 1997. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Long considered to be the mad dream of an imperious autocrat - the Venice of the North, conceived in a setting of malarial swamps - St. Petersburg was built in 1703 by Peter the Great as Russia s gateway to the West. For almost 300 years this splendid city has survived the most extreme attempts of man and nature to extinguish it, from flood, famine, and disease to civil war, Stalinist purges, and the epic 900-day siege by Hitler s armies. It has even been renamed twice, and became St. Petersburg again only in 1991. Yet not only has it retained its special, almost mystical identity as the schizophrenic soul of modern Russia, but it remains one of the most beautiful and alluring cities in the world.Every great city creates its own image in literature and art, and Petersburg is no exception. For Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoyevsky, Petersburg was a spectral city that symbolized the near-apocalyptic conflicts of imperial Russia. As the monarchy declined, allowing intellectuals and artists to flourish, Petersburg became a center of avant-garde experiment and flamboyant bohemian challenge to the dominating power of the state, first czarist and then communist.The names of the Russian modern masters who found expression in St. Petersburg still resonate powerfully in every field of art: in music, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and Shostakovich; in literature, Akhmatova, Blok, Mandelstam, Nabokov, and Brodsky; in dance, Diaghilev, Nijinsky, and Balanchine; in theater, Meyerhold; in painting, Chagall and Malevich; and many others, whose works are now part of the permanent fabric of Western civilization. Yet no comprehensive portrait of this thriving distinctive, and highly influential cosmopolitan culture, and the city that inspired it, has previously been attempted.Now Solomon Volkov, a Russian emigre and acclaimed cultural historian, has written the definitive cultural biography of this city and its transcendent artistic and spiritual legacy. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9780684832968

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Descripción Free Press 2/13/1997, 1997. Paperback or Softback. Estado de conservación: New. St. Petersburg: A Cultural History. Book. Nº de ref. de la librería BBS-9780684832968

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