Daniel Beer

Surrounded Sound

Leningrad: Siege and Symphony

By

Quercus 558pp £25 order from our bookshop

St Petersburg: Shadows of the Past

By

Yale University Press 464pp £25 order from our bookshop

A European capital built in defiance of nature, perched precariously on the Baltic coast, St Petersburg has commanded endless discussions over Russian national identity, state power and the towering achievements of Russian culture. The city remains swathed in collective myths and memories of imperial glory, assassination, revolution, terror and war. In the decades since Stalin’s death its inhabitants have often struggled to articulate an identity that can reconcile such a grandiose, inspiring and tragic past with a sometimes underwhelming, squalid and frustrating present.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Whom did Picasso label a 'bristly pig'? Read Rosalind P Blakesley's review of The Collector by Natalya Semenova to… ,
    • Alexandra Gajda on Anna Beer's new biography, Patriot or Traitor: The Life and Death of Sir Walter Ralegh ,
    • Mark Lawson reviews @jonathancoe's Middle England - The Rotters' Club for our Brexit age. ,
    • 'Behind every book that is published lies ... a haunted landscape, populated by the ghosts of things written and ex… ,
    • 'We once more live in a great age of dragon invention' Here's Tom Shippey on Martin Arnold's The Dragon ,
    • RT : Man at the q&a part of the book panel: Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't say it Don't s… ,
    • Here's @epkaufm's Whiteshift, reviewed in this month's magazine by ,