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Preserving Petersburg

History, Memory, Nostalgia

Preserving Petersburg by Helena Goscilo
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For more than three centuries, St. Petersburg, founded in 1703 by Peter the Great as Russia's westward-oriented capital and as a visually stunning showcase of Russia's imperial ambitions, has been the country's most mythologized city. Like a museum piece, it has functioned as a site for preservation, a literal and imaginative place where Russians can commune with idealized pasts. Preserving Petersburg represents a significant departure from traditional representations. By moving beyond the "Petersburg text" created by canonized writers and artists, the contributors to this engrossing volume trace the ways in which St. Petersburg has become a "museum piece," embodying history, nostalgia, and recourse to memories of the past. The essays in this attractively illustrated volume trace a process of preservation that stretches back nearly three centuries, as manifest in the works of noted historians, poets, novelists, artists, architects, filmmakers, and dramatists.

Indiana University Press; June 2008
264 pages; ISBN 9780253027894
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Title: Preserving Petersburg
Author: Helena Goscilo; Stephen M. Norris