Sisters of the Cross - Russian Library (Hardback)
  • Sisters of the Cross - Russian Library (Hardback)
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Sisters of the Cross - Russian Library (Hardback)

(translator)
£24.00
Hardback 192 Pages / Published: 23/02/2018
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Thirty-year-old Piotr Alekseevich Marakulin lives a contented, if humdrum life as a financial clerk in a Petersburg trading company. He is jolted out of his daily routine when, quite unexpectedly, he is accused of embezzlement and loses his job. This change of status brings him into contact with a number of women-the titular "sisters of the cross"-whose sufferings will lead him to question the ultimate meaning of the universe. The first English translation of this remarkable 1910 novel by Alexei Remizov, one of the most influential members of the Russian Symbolist movement, Sisters of the Cross is a masterpiece of early modernist fiction. In the tradition of Gogol's Petersburg Tales and Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment, it deploys densely packed psychological prose and fluctuating narrative perspective to tell the story of a "poor clerk" who rebels against the suffering and humiliation afflicting both his own life and the lives of the remarkable women whom he encounters in the tenement building where he lives in Petersburg. The novel reaches its haunting climax at the beginning of the Whitsuntide festival, when Marakulin thinks he glimpses the coming of salvation both for himself and for the "fallen" actress Verochka, the unacknowledged love of his life, in one of the most powerfully drawn scenes in Symbolist literature. Remizov is best known as a writer of short stories and fairy tales, but this early novel, masterfully translated by Roger Keys and Brian Murphy, is perhaps his most significant work of sustained artistic prose.

Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231185424
Number of pages: 192
Dimensions: 216 x 140 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In Sisters of the Cross, we get an expertly accurate translation of perhaps the only masterpiece of Russian prose before 1917 that remains unknown to Anglophone readers. Keys and Murphy capture Remizov's teeming, intensely human post-Dostoevskian Petersburg, where the sordid, the surreal, and the spiritual are inextricable.--Gerald Smith, University of Oxford
Sisters of the Cross is a tale set in Burkov's boardinghouse--a microcosm of Petersburg and the whole of Russia--filled with minor civil servants, wronged women, and holy wanderers, accident-prone circus artistes set to conquer the heart of Europe, the indifferent rich, and a Moscow merchant, haphazard patron of the protagonist. All this buzzes and sings, expands and contracts in mesmerizing spirals--until the shock of the last line, a scream for help in an empty world. Wisely, Keys and Murphy preserve the authorial intonation, and thereby achieve simplicity and poetic resonance without losing immediate human interest among the echoes of another culture.--Avril Pyman, University of Durham
An English translation of Alexei Remizov's Sisters of the Cross has long been overdue. Roger Keys and Brian Murphy successfully tackle the challenges of Remizov's unique and quirky style, which fuses archaic and folkloric traits with a modernist flair reminiscent of surrealism.--Adrian Wanner, Pennsylvania State University

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