Feigned and performed
in Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle
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As Andreev began to rebuild his life around his new family in Vammelsuu, various ideas from his earlier works started to coalesce in coherent and consistent ways. In dramatic and literary works of this period the performance is a way of interacting with madness in an attempt to hide its effects from the public, because there exists the threat of incarceration for those deemed abnormal or dangerous (including the insane), therefore verisimilitude (giving a truth that the public wants to see) is necessary to avoid the stigma of madness. In this chapter, I argue that by maintaining the appearance of normalcy, Andreev wished to avoid the criticism à la Max Nordau that the author was as morally corrupt as his decadent works of art.

Degeneration, decadence and disease in the Russian fin de siècle

Neurasthenia in the life and work of Leonid Andreev

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