David Bethea examines the distinctly Russian view of the "end" of history in five major works of modern Russian fiction.
Originally published in 1989.
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"Bethea sees as his tasks: to trace the theme of the Apocalypse...in five Russian novels: Dostoevsky's The Idiot, Bely's Petersburg, Platonov's Chevengur, Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita, and Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago; to show how generalizations about the time-honored 'messianic' and 'eschatological' impulse in the Russian historical character shed light on the narrative structure of these works; and to demonstrate that 'apocalyptic' fictions ... countermand Socialist realism and its vision of secular paradise. He does an excellent job with all three."--Thomas Gaiton Marullo, Modern Fiction Studies
"It is not often one comes across a book that is not only a major contribution to the field, but whose appearance calls for a celebration. David Bethea's The Shape of Apocalypse in Modern Russian Fiction is such a book."--Laura D. Weeks, The Russian Review
"The terrifying enormity of the apocalyptic theme in Russian literature fails to daunt Bethea, author of the acclaimed Khodasevich. His present book is brilliant, elegantly presented, and invaluable to anyone from undergraduate to specialist."--Choice
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by David M. Bethea: