Mapping Imagined Geographies of Revolutionary Russia

PBC0075: alienation and grief

PBC 75 conveys mourning and grief about the death of the imperial capital, Saint Petersburg, following the February 1917 Russian revolution. One instance speaks of the “mortal sadness” of the crowds of people (W25). Two works invoke the city’s Greek name, “Petropol’” to lament the city’s demise (W333, W343). Petropol’ now becomes the underworld, ruled by Proserpina, the Roman goddess of death and the underworld (W333). Just as the Jewish faithful in exile vow to meet next year in Jerusalem, those in exile in the new Soviet state, those who mourn the passing of St. Petersburg, “will once again regather in Petersburg,” but in an unknown future (W355). This grief is in a fashion more personal than political.


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