St. Petersburg in Russian and Soviet Literature in Translation
Come explore Peter the Great’s “Window to the West” through the works of well-known Russian authors such as Dostoevsky, Gogol, Pushkin, Bely and Solzhenitsyn. Decide for yourself, as the authors did: Is St. Petersburg the intolerable whim of an eccentric and overly ambitious tsar who settled a malarial swamp in the far north, or is it an enchanting muse, full of contradictions and beauty, to which one feels repeatedly obliged to return? The city Dostoyevsky called “the most abstract and premeditated city in the whole world” repulsed and excited authors during its 300 year history. It has survived natural disasters ranging from flood, famine, and disease, to man-made strife in the form of civil war, Stalinist purges, and an epic Nazi siege. Though it has suffered identity crises, undergoing numerous name changes and competing with Moscow as the favored center of government, Petersburg retains a beloved place in the soul of many Russians. This great city has generated its own spirit in literature and art and has taken on a life of its own; join us on a sweeping and memorable journey to know this “Venice of the North”!