July 22, 2017

The Dedalus Book of Russian Decadence: Perversity, Despair and Collapse

A fantastic and surreal book. Russian Decadence is a collection of 53 pieces of prose and poetry written by 7 Russian authors from the late 1800s.

The Dedalus Book of Russian Decadence

The featured authors are:

  • Leonid Andreyev
  • Alexander Blok
  • Valery Briusov
  • Alexander Kondratiev
  • Dmitry Merezhkovsky
  • Fyodor Sologub
  • and the only female Zinaida Gippius

Their works are focused on exploring the depths of the unconscious, and lead some really dark and fascinating areas.

The book is a very strange mix of stories, we visit a cult who are about the brought down in the middle of a revolution; we follow psychopaths around; there’s some sci-fi and explorations of parallel worlds. A weird exploration of excessive fascination with shadows, the intoxication of poisonous plants in an enchanted garden. Suicide obsessions and love in graveyards…

Truly a fascinating mental journey – I think I might have to read some more of the Dedalus collections of European decadence…

 

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