Katherine Lahti, The Russian Revival of the Dithyramb: A Modernist Use of Antiquity, Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2018, pp. 374, Cloth ISBN 978081013670-0, $120; Paper ISBN 9780810136694, $39.95
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Katherine Lahti has, for the first time, collected together in one volume the rich material related to the fascination with Dionysus in Russian literature and culture of the first two decades of the twentieth century, known as the Silver Age. Her book, which has been praised by Michael Wachtel for its ‘awe inspiring discoveries’ and ‘admirable command of the subject matter’, offers a panorama on the history of Dionysian topoi in Russian literature from 1902 to 1924. Each of the chapters contextualizes the relevant works with the help of rare and infrequently read journals of the period. The most innovative chapter concerns Futurism and builds on several previously published articles by the author.
The book would have been more reader-friendly if it had been equipped with a bibliography and if modern scholars had been included in the index; a list of Russian dithyrambs would also have been helpful. Although the chapters do provide an outline of the state of research, the original...