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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: 23 October 2019

Feigned and performed

Feigned and performed

Chapter:
(p.181) 6 Feigned and performed
Source:
Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle
Author(s):

Frederick H. White

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719091643.003.0006

As Andreev began to rebuild his life around his new family in Vammelsuu, various ideas from his earlier works started to coalesce in coherent and consistent ways. In dramatic and literary works of this period the performance is a way of interacting with madness in an attempt to hide its effects from the public, because there exists the threat of incarceration for those deemed abnormal or dangerous (including the insane), therefore verisimilitude (giving a truth that the public wants to see) is necessary to avoid the stigma of madness. In this chapter, I argue that by maintaining the appearance of normalcy, Andreev wished to avoid the criticism à la Max Nordau that the author was as morally corrupt as his decadent works of art.

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

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