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y separately published work icon The Master of Petersburg single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1994... 1994 The Master of Petersburg
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In the fall of 1869 Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, lately a resident of Germany, is summoned back to St. Petersburg by the sudden death of his stepson, Pavel. Half crazed with grief, stricken by epileptic seizures, and erotically obsessed with his stepson's landlady, Dostoevsky is nevertheless intent on unraveling the enigma of Pavel's life. Was the boy a suicide or a murder victim? Did he love his stepfather or despise him? Was he a disciple of the revolutionary Nechaev, who even now is somewhere in St. Petersburg pursuing a dream of apocalyptic violence? As he follows his stepson's ghost - and becomes enmeshed in the same demonic conspiracies that claimed the boy - Dostoevsky emerges as a figure of unfathomable contradictions: naive and calculating, compassionate and cruel, pious and unspeakably perverse. (Source: Libraries Australia)

Notes

  • Editions and translations have been updated for The Master of Petersburg by Eilish Copelin as part of a Semester 2, 2013 scholar's internship. The selection and inclusion of these editions and translations was based on their availability through Australian libraries, namely through the search facilities of Libraries Australia and Trove (National Library of Australia).

    Given the international popularity of Coetzee's work, however, this record is not yet comprehensive. Editions and translations not widely available in Australia may not have been indexed. Furthermore, due to the enormous breadth of critical material on Coetzee's work, indexing of secondary sources is also not complete.

  • Other formats: Also sound recording and e-book.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Secker and Warburg ,
      1994 .
      image of person or book cover 2918009795097043719.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 250p.
      Edition info: 1st UK ed.
      ISBN: 0436201933, 9780436201936
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Viking ,
      1994 .
      image of person or book cover 8744759586911879320.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 250p.
      Edition info: 1st US ed.
      ISBN: 0670855871, 9780670855872
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin USA ,
      1995 .
      image of person or book cover 4505050290228962168.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 256p.
      ISBN: 9780140296402, 0140238107
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage ,
      1999 .
      image of person or book cover 4164585579016624411.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 250p.
      ISBN: 0749396326, 9780749396329
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage ,
      2004 .
      image of person or book cover 1672267218847755078.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 250p.
      ISBN: 0099470373, 9780099470373
Alternative title: Il maestro di Pietroburgo
Language: Italian
    • Rome,
      c
      Italy,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Donzelli Editore ,
      1994 .
      image of person or book cover 4665321416823236859.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 239p.
      Edition info: 1st ed.
      Reprinted: 2003
      ISBN: 8879898388, 9788879898386
    • Torino, Piedmont,
      c
      Italy,
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Einaudi ,
      2005 .
      image of person or book cover 1632762657000405401.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 215p.
      Edition info: 2nd ed.
      ISBN: 8806172123, 9788806172121
      Series: y separately published work icon Super ET Torino : Einaudi , 2005 7961005 2005 series - publisher novel Number in series: 11

Works about this Work

Eurydice’s Curse : J. M. Coetzee and the Prospect of Death Chris Danta , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , February vol. 33 no. 1 2018;

'The prospect of death is one of J. M. Coetzee’s central and enduring concerns. As David Attwell observes in his biography, ‘The most trenchant of the purposes of Coetzee’s metafiction . . . is that it is a means whereby he challenges himself with sharply existential questions’. My claim in this essay is that Coetzee uses the act of writing existentially to orient himself and his readers to the prospect of death. I argue that Coetzee treats the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice as a story about how to deal with the prospect of death. What seems to terrify the Coetzeean protagonist is the thought of the absolute solitariness of death. I call this the curse of Eurydice. Eurydice’s fate in the myth is to be left alone in the Underworld, dying for a second time after her impatient lover turns to gaze at her before they have safely reached the surface of the earth. To take Eurydice’s point of view in the story is to begin to glimpse the solitariness of death. One of the roles of women in Coetzee’s fiction, I suggest, is to mitigate the male character’s fear of this solitariness by conducting him to the threshold of death, but no further.'  (Publication abstract)

Excess as Ek-stasis : Coetzee’s The Master of Petersburg and Giving Offense Anthony Uhlmann , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Comparatist , October no. 38 2014;
'This paper will develop a reading of J. M. Coetzee’s novel The Master of Petersburg (1994) alongside ideas that Coetzee develops in Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship, which was published in 1996 by the University of Chicago Press the year he began teaching as a visiting Professor at the Committee of Social Thought at Chicago. That elements of these two books might be related can be inferred from the overlap involved in the writing process of each (the first essay in Giving Offense appeared in print in 1988 and Coetzee worked on essays related to the book from then until 1996). The Master of Petersburg appeared after Age of Iron (1990) and was followed by Disgrace in 1999. It might be paired with Foe, which appeared in 1986, as a novel that explicitly engages with the work of another novelist: Daniel Defoe in Foe and Dostoevsky in The Master of Petersburg. This essay will consider how an understanding of excess that involves thinking outside of or beyond reason can be witnessed in both of these books. Excess will further be linked to related ideas of “offense” and “refraction” or “perversion”: each of these terms involves elements of “going beyond” an already given perspective in order to generate new meanings and new understandings of the “true.” These processes are revealed through a comparison of themes developed by Dostoevsky in “At Tikhon’s”—a chapter that was censored from the original published version of his novel Demons (see Dostoevsky, Demons 749–87), because it was considered perverse, offensive and excessive—and The Master of Petersburg, which enters into dialogue with it. (Introduction)
Excess as Ek-stasis : Coetzee’s The Master of Petersburg and Giving Offense Anthony Uhlmann , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Comparatist , October no. 38 2014;
'This paper will develop a reading of J. M. Coetzee’s novel The Master of Petersburg (1994) alongside ideas that Coetzee develops in Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship, which was published in 1996 by the University of Chicago Press the year he began teaching as a visiting Professor at the Committee of Social Thought at Chicago. That elements of these two books might be related can be inferred from the overlap involved in the writing process of each (the first essay in Giving Offense appeared in print in 1988 and Coetzee worked on essays related to the book from then until 1996). The Master of Petersburg appeared after Age of Iron (1990) and was followed by Disgrace in 1999. It might be paired with Foe, which appeared in 1986, as a novel that explicitly engages with the work of another novelist: Daniel Defoe in Foe and Dostoevsky in The Master of Petersburg. This essay will consider how an understanding of excess that involves thinking outside of or beyond reason can be witnessed in both of these books. Excess will further be linked to related ideas of “offense” and “refraction” or “perversion”: each of these terms involves elements of “going beyond” an already given perspective in order to generate new meanings and new understandings of the “true.” These processes are revealed through a comparison of themes developed by Dostoevsky in “At Tikhon’s”—a chapter that was censored from the original published version of his novel Demons (see Dostoevsky, Demons 749–87), because it was considered perverse, offensive and excessive—and The Master of Petersburg, which enters into dialogue with it. (Introduction)
Eurydice’s Curse : J. M. Coetzee and the Prospect of Death Chris Danta , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , February vol. 33 no. 1 2018;

'The prospect of death is one of J. M. Coetzee’s central and enduring concerns. As David Attwell observes in his biography, ‘The most trenchant of the purposes of Coetzee’s metafiction . . . is that it is a means whereby he challenges himself with sharply existential questions’. My claim in this essay is that Coetzee uses the act of writing existentially to orient himself and his readers to the prospect of death. I argue that Coetzee treats the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice as a story about how to deal with the prospect of death. What seems to terrify the Coetzeean protagonist is the thought of the absolute solitariness of death. I call this the curse of Eurydice. Eurydice’s fate in the myth is to be left alone in the Underworld, dying for a second time after her impatient lover turns to gaze at her before they have safely reached the surface of the earth. To take Eurydice’s point of view in the story is to begin to glimpse the solitariness of death. One of the roles of women in Coetzee’s fiction, I suggest, is to mitigate the male character’s fear of this solitariness by conducting him to the threshold of death, but no further.'  (Publication abstract)

Last amended 26 Oct 2016 07:49:33
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