The Master of Petersburg

The Master of Petersburg

Book - 1994 | 1st American ed
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Baker & Taylor
Returning to St. Petersburg after the death of his stepson, Dostoyevsky battles grief, epilepsy, an obsession with his stepson's landlady, and eventually a demonic conspiracy in order to get to the cause of the young man's death. 25,000 first printing. $25,000 ad/promo.

Blackwell North Amer
In the fall of 1869 Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, lately a resident of Germany, is summoned back to St. Petersburg by the sudden death of his stepson, Pavel.
Half crazed with grief, stricken by epileptic seizures, and erotically obsessed with his stepson's landlady, Dostoevsky is nevertheless intent on unraveling the enigma of Pavel's life. Was the boy a suicide or a murder victim? Did he love his stepfather or despise him? Was he a disciple of the revolutionary Nechaev, who even now is somewhere in St. Petersburg pursuing a dream of apocalyptic violence?
As he follows his stepson's ghost - and becomes enmeshed in the same demonic conspiracies that claimed the boy - Dostoevsky emerges as a figure of unfathomable contradictions: naive and calculating, compassionate and cruel, pious and unspeakably perverse.

Baker
& Taylor

Returning to St. Petersburg after the death of his stepson, Fyodor Dostoevsky battles his own difficulties with grief, epilepsy, an obsession with his stepson's landlady, and eventually a demonic conspiracy in order to get to the cause of the young man's death

Publisher: New York : Viking, 1994
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 0670855871
Branch Call Number: FIC COETZEE
Characteristics: 250 p. ; 23 cm

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uncommonreader
May 31, 2014

Set in 1869, this is the story of Dostoevsky returning to Petersburg from his self-imposed exile in Dresden upon the death (murder? suicide?) of his stepson who had become involved with the anarchist Nechaev. Dostoevsky stays in his son's apartment, wears his clothes, and develops relationships with his friends and acquaintances. The novel becomes a mediation on a writer's powers, responsibilities and what he must sacrifice to write. It is a dark and grim novel written in the style of Dostoevsky. Once again, there is too much of Coetzee displaying his cleverness.

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