The first generation of Russian modernists experienced a profound sense of anxiety. What made them unique was their utopian prescription for overcoming the inevitability of decline and death. They theorized their defiance of death by suggesting the immortalization of the body through the power of erotic love. Matich suggests that same-sex desire underlay their most radical proposal of abolishing the traditional procreative family in favor of erotically induced abstinence. She shows how a brilliant group of Russian writers - among them the late Tolstoy, Vladimir Solov'ev, Zinaida Gippius, Alexander Blok, and Vasilii Rozanov - addressed the pressing concerns of a culture in transition, ranging from physical and psychological health, marriage, sexuality, and gender to anti-Semitism and the meaning of history.