Kotik Letaev

Trade Paper – $21.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1626-9
Publication Date
June 1999
Page Count
268 pages
Trim Size
5 1/8 x 7 3/4

Kotik Letaev

Andrei Bely

One of the most important works of twentieth-century Russian prose, Kotik Letaev, the great symbolist novel of childhood, depicts the emergence of consciousness and its development into self-consciousness in a Russian boy growing up among the Moscow intelligentsia in the 1800s.

Kotik's experience is based on elements from Bely's own early childhood, but on a larger level his experience represents the stages of human history, the history of philosophy, and childhood language development. The story, seen through the eyes of a child from the age of three to five years, is told in complex, poetically developed adult language, rich in imagery and musical sound effects.

About the Author

Andrei Bely (the pseudonym of Boris Nikolayevich Bugaev, 1880-1934) was a leading theorist and poet of Russian symbolism, associated with Moscow's literary elite during the prerevolutionary period. In 1913 he became an adherent of Rudolf Steiner in Switzerland, where he began writing Kotik Letaev (first published in 1917-18). He returned to Russia for good in 1923. His development of new writing techniques, especially in his most celebrated composition, Petersburg, significantly affected later Russian prose and verse style.

Gerald J. Janecek is a professor of Russian at the University of Kentucky and the author or editor of several other books by or about Andrei Bely.
"The author claimed an uncommonly good recall of early childhood; this novel renders that judgment in breathtaking sensuous detail." --Review of Contemporary Fiction