To the Hermitage
In October 1993, a novelist is invited is invited to go to Stockholm and then to Russia to take part in what is enigmatically referred to as the Diderot Project. While in Stockholm he is joined by various other members of the project -- an academic aptly named Verso, known as The Encyclopedia, and a lustful opera singer. On the journey towards Russia more is revealed about Diderot: the son of a knife maker in Langres who went to Paris and compiled the Encyclopedia, a book that changed the world. Moving between dual narratives -- Diderot himself is on his way to Russia to "enlighten" Catherine the Great, while all she wants is his magnificent library we learn how Diderot can be seen as the godfather of both the modern novel and of the computer.Bradbury brilliantly recreates the climate of the eighteenth century and Diderot's journey to Russia. And the Diderot Project itself becomes a quest to recapture a lost world and illuminate our own, proving the novelist correct: "It's all chaos, noisy confusion. History generally is".
- Hardback | 498 pages
- 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.68g
- 19 Mar 2001
- Overlook Press
- United States
About Emeritus Professor Malcolm Bradbury
Malcolm Bradbury is a novelist, critic, television dramatist and Emeritus Professor of American Studies at the University of East Anglia. He is author of the novels Eating People is Wrong (1959); Stepping Westward (1965); The History Man (1975); which won the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize and was adapted as a famous television series; Rates of Exchange (1983) which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Cuts: A Very Short Novel (1987), also televised; and Doctor Criminale (1992). His critical works include The Modern American Novel (1984; revised edition, 1992); No, Not Bloomsbury (essays, 1987); The Modern world: Ten Great Writers (1988); From Puritanism to Post-modernism: A History of American Literature (with Richard Ruland, 1991) He is the author of a collection of seven stories and nine parodies, entitled Who Do You Think You Are? (1976), and of several works of humour and satire, including Why Come to Slaka? (1986), Unsent Letters (1988; revised edition, 1995) and Mensonge (1987). Many of his books are published by Penguin. In addition, he has written many television plays and the television 'novel' The Gravy Train and The Gravy Train Goes East. He has adapted several television series, including Tom Sharpe's Porterhouse Blue, Kinglsey Amis's The Green Man and Stella Gibbon's' Cold Comfort Farm, now a feature film.Malcolm Bradbury lives in Norwich, travels good deal, and in 1991 he was awarded the CBE.