The Silver Dove

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The Silver Dove, published four years before Bely's masterpiece Petersburg, is considered the first modern Russian novel. Breaking with Russian realism, and a pioneering Symbolist work, its vividly drawn characters, elemental landscapes, and rich style make it accessible to the Western reader, and this new translation makes the complete work available in English for the first time.

Dissatisfied with the life of the intelligentsia, the poet Daryalsky joins a rural mystic sect, the Silver Doves. The locals, in particular the peasant woman Matryona, are fascinated by the dashing stranger. Daryalsky is in turn taken in by the Doves' intimacy with the mystical and spiritual--and by Matryona. Under the influence of Kudeyarov, the ruthless cult leader, Daryalsky is used in a bid to produce a sacred child. But in time the poet disappoints the Doves and must face their suspicions and jealousies--and his own inevitable dire fate.

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