Fyodor Sologub: Творимая легенда (The Created Legend)


The latest addition to my website is Fyodor Sologub‘s Творимая легенда (The Created Legend), a trilogy of novels which is concerned with both the upheavals in Russia at the time of the 1905 Revolution as well as having several fantasy elements. The first book (Капли крови (Drops of Blood)) tells of Trirodov, a somewhat larger than life man, who lives in a big house, where he runs a free school, where the children, often orphans, are allowed free expression. He meets his neighbours, Elisaveta and Elena, also somewhat free-spirited, and falls in love with Elisaveta. However, there is considerable social upheaval going on with social revolutionaries and democrats on the one hand, and the right-wing Black Hundreds and the authorities on the other. Trirodov is sympathetic to the left, particularly when the repression gets greater. Trirodov also communes with dead.


The second book (Королева Ортруда (Queen Ortruda)) is set in the United Isles, where Queen Ortruda reigns. There is social agitation there, for the same reason as in Russia. The Queen’s consort, Tankred, has started behaving badly, having numerous affairs, spending too much money and supporting the party that wants the United Isles to become a colonial power like the major European powers. The Queen holds mysterious ceremonies in a secret underground chamber, romps around in the wood alone and also communes with the dead, in this case the White Ghost. There is an offshore volcanic island and this volcano is starting to erupt. It is going to get serious


The final and shortest book (Дым и Пепел ) (Smoke and Ash)) sees Trirodov applying to to be king of the United Isles (despite the fact that he has no connection with the country or royalty) and increased upheaval in Russia. Fortunately, Trirodov has a Plan B – his greenhouse is really a spaceship that can take him and the children to the Moon. It really does not work as many Russian critics have said, even though it is an interesting experiment. Serious social issues mixing with communing with the dead in mystic ceremonies in underground chambers and greenhouse spaceships just jibe too much for my taste.

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