Summer in Baden-Baden (Faber Editions)

Leonid Tsypkin


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Faber & Faber
6 June 2024
ISBN: 9780571386895
240 pages

From the publisher

Join Dostoevsky on his tumultuous honeymoon in this hypnotic cult classic , introduced by Susan Sontag.

'A wonderful work of art.' Jon McGregor
'Extraordinary in its confidence and enchantment.' Chris Power
'Addictive, dreamlike and dazzlingly unique.' Adam Thirlwell
'Luminous, melancholy and enraptured.' Chloe Aridjis

Why was I reading this book now, in a railway-carriage, beneath a wavering, flickering, electric light-bulb . .

Summer, 1867: The newlywed Dostoevsky and his young wife Anna - his one-time secretary - are travelling to the German spa resort of Baden-Baden on honeymoon. Their love is ecstatic, yet the author is plagued by demons: haunted by his crimes and punishments, consumed by fevers of jealousy, gambling to avoid mounting debts and shaken by epileptic fits.

Winter, 1970s: Our Jewish narrator embarks on a pilgrimage from Moscow to Leningrad to trace the footsteps of his literary hero. As the train travels across the Soviet Union's bleak expanses, he immerses himself in Anna's travel journal: and their journeys - past and present, real and imagined - soon become entwined.

The result of a clandestine literary vocation, Summer in Baden-Baden was smuggled out of the Soviet Union in 1981 and first published in a Russian émigré weekly in the USA. It has since been hailed as a trailblazing modern classic, translated into more than twenty languages - and its hypnotic, enigmatic power only grows.