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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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Loss and rebellion

Loss and rebellion

(p.134) 5 Loss and rebellion
Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle

Frederick H. White

Manchester University Press

In June 1904, newspaper Courier ceased to exist after a prolonged period of financial difficulties. This meant that Andreev now had to earn his livelihood solely as a creative writer. The heady times of his initial success gave way to a period of significant political upheaval and personal loss. Andreev’s life was turned upside down by the deaths of both his youngest sister and his wife, while his works began to reflect his own political ruminations, if not vacillations. This chapter concentrates on the ways in which madness interacts with Andreev’s personal and fictional narratives of loss and rebellion. The central focus is the period 1904–08, although many of the sections in this chapter are organized thematically rather than in strict chronological order.

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

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