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Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècleNeurasthenia in the life and work of Leonid Andreev$
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Frederick H. White

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719091643

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719091643.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 22 October 2019

Controversy and success

Controversy and success

(p.91) 4 Controversy and success
Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle

Frederick H. White

Manchester University Press

Leonid Andreev’s rise to literary fame reached dizzying heights in a short amount of time. There were, unquestionably, many factors that contributed to his success. Yet, this chapter mainly concentrates on the development of Andreev’s particular illness narrative and how it contributed to the author’s cultural relevancy. Stories about sexual deviance and criminal madness propelled Andreev beyond literary discussions and into larger debates about the health of the Russian nation. His works were used by scientists, journalists and scholars alike to support arguments of all colors and stripes, but the most important being that Andreev was representative of a society under duress, suffering from the rapid and disorienting pace of modernization.

Keywords:   Leonid Andreev, Degeneration, Decadence, Russian literature, Russian fin de siècle, Illness narrative, Madness

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