Diaries and diagnosis
in Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle
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As with most scholarly works on Leonid Andreev, we will begin with his birth and childhood, but where this study strikes a different cord is when we begin to examine Andreev’s adolescent diaries, which provide a personalized narrative of illness. Attention is given to Andreev’s illness narrative in order to suggest that melancholic episodes were the impetus for much of his abnormal behaviour. Recognizing the strong impact that bouts of melancholy had on Andreev’s personal life and literary output opens up nuanced moments of imbedded autobiography in his texts, which were enacted as a type of creative therapy, and provide a means for contextualizing the theme of madness in Andreev’s literary works.

Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle

Neurasthenia in the life and work of Leonid Andreev

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