Vladimir Odoevsky, Pis'mo IV [Letter IV (to Countess Ye. P. Rostopchina)]

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“Pis'mo IV” [“Letter IV (

to Countess Ye P. Rostopchina

)]” (1839) is from a series of letters written by Odoevsky to Yevdokia [“Dodo”] Rostopchina, herself a writer and society hostess, “on apparitions, superstitious fears, sensual deceptions, magic, cabbalism, alchemy and other mysterious sciences” (see Neil Cornwell's introduction to

The Salamander

, 4). It is seen as “a viable short story in its own right” and it features Count Saint-Germain, “a legendary but historical figure used by Pushkin in his Gothic masterpiece

The Queen of Spades

(1833), who has recently re-surfaced in Umberto Eco's occult extravaganza,

Foucault's Pendulum

” (ibid.).

The letter opens by offering to tell the Countess of “those optical illusions known under the name of hallucinations”,

1551 words

Citation: Sucur, Slobodan. "Pis'mo IV". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 April 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16755, accessed 22 June 2024.]

16755 Pis'mo IV 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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