ABOUT THIS BOOK
In 1833 Alexander Pushkin began to explore the topic of madness, a subject little explored in Russian literature before his time. The works he produced on the theme are three of his greatest masterpieces: the prose novella The Queen of Spades, the narrative poem The Bronze Horseman, and the lyric "God Grant That I Not Lose My Mind." Gary Rosenshield presents a new interpretation of Pushkin’s genius through an examination of his various representations of madness.
Pushkin brilliantly explored both the destructive and creative sides of madness, a strange fusion of violence and insight. In this study, Rosenshield illustrates the surprising valorization of madness in The Queen of Spades and "God Grant That I Not Lose My Mind" and analyzes The Bronze Horseman’s confrontation with the legacy of Peter the Great, a cornerstone figure of Russian history. Drawing on themes of madness in western literature, Rosenshield situates Pushkin in a greater framework with such luminaries as Shakespeare, Sophocles, Cervantes, and Dostoevsky providing an insightful and absorbing study of Russia’s greatest writer.