Treats the central concerns and patterns of the literary prose of Fedor Sologub by examining the crucial role which children play in the writer's fictive universe. Treated here are many of the best short stories, the fairy tales, and most of the novels (Bad Dreams, The Petty Demon, A Legend in Creation) which this leading decadent-symbolist author wrote between 1894 and 1914. The arrangement of the chapters according to genre -- stories, novels, fairy tales -- demonstrates how differently the child functions in each, suggesting Sologub's unique understanding of the limits and special qualities of these genres. However, chronology is never forgotten, and one of the book's major theses is that the evolution of fiction, as evidenced by the role of the child, reveals a more optimistic and idealistic writer than is usually supposed in the case of Sologub.
"...offers many interesting insights into Sologub's prose. This book is a valuable addition to the study of Russian symbolism." (SR)