Sergei Nosov. The Secret Lives of Saint Petersburg Monuments

Author: Sergei Nosov
Title: The Secret Lives of Saint Petersburg Monuments

Year: 2008

SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER PRIZE 2008

This unusual book about the “secret lives” of monuments, undoubtedly, will provoke the Saint Petersburg reader to take additional jaunts around the city, and the non Saint Petersburg reader – to visit. It is written by a friend and well-wisher of monuments, the writer Sergei Nosov. This book can only be compared with, perhaps, those captivating books about animals written by researches that spend long periods of time living among them.
“Monuments exist, but not just. They exist in complete originality. Not being biological objects, they reveal specific, although not obvious, activity in a particular space and time- if only someone took the care to observe. The way in which their presence exists in our living space can be correlated with life in the general human understanding of this word. They actually “live”. Although not entirely “humanly”.
This collection of essays reads like a detective novel – a novel about the cultural space of Saint Petersburg, the meeting of urban legends and historical anecdotes, flavored by an outstanding power of observation and sense of humor, not to mention the erudition. Nosov knows everything about the monuments, the statues, the memorial boards and stones. And that’s not all that he knows about. This book is a delightful, entertaining read for anyone interested in the history of Saint Petersburg, its people, and its monuments.