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Mapping St. Petersburg:
Imperial Text and Cityshape
Julie A. Buckler

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"In Mapping St. Petersburg, Julie Buckler rewrites the exclusionary ideology of classicism that has dominated pictorial and verbal discourses on Petersburg from Pushkin's 'Bronze Horseman' to the Petersburg Tricentenary of 2003. Meticulously researched and illustrated, deftly theorized, and vividly written, the book presents an exhilaratingly concrete study of Petersburg urban design and architectural history, focusing on the many 'eclectic' rental buildings, markets, cemeteries, and places of amusement that constitute a physical testimony to the aesthetic tastes and mixed social experience inscribed in them. Buckler explores the rich array of lowbrow and middlebrow writing on Petersburg that furnishes the forgotten matrix of urban folklore on which the Russian realist novel drew. Her intellectual mission: to restore to visibility the elided 'middle' of Russian society and taste that has been so carefully expunged from the cultural record and has only recently become a focus of interest for Russian imperial historians and students of cityscape as embodied myth."--Monika Greenleaf, Stanford University

"This is a fascinating book. It is beautifully written and contains countless original details, insights, and observations. The rich array of materials offers a great deal of new information about and analysis of the cultural history of St. Petersburg. Buckler's approach represents a major contribution not only to Russian studies and comparative literature but also to cultural geography, history, and urban anthropology."--Alexei Yurchak, University of California, Berkeley

"This strong, timely book celebrates the three-hundredth anniversary of St. Petersburg in a manner that is genuinely--not just rhetorically--interdisciplinary. In this exotic ex-centric city, with its autoreferential literary legacy and its 'anti-Moscow' mystique, the spatial and verbal arts came together concretely in a monolithic myth of violent beginnings and apocalyptic ends. So monolithic was this myth that it cultivated its own areas of blindness. Buckler brings these blind spots back into the light."--Caryl Emerson, Princeton University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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