The CamCREES bibliographical notes have lapsed of late, with many of the 2016 seminars missed due to trips away, but it is a pleasure to resurrect them to discuss the three seminars which the Lent Term provided – a talk on early Russian modernism and two on Soviet underground literature.
In the last couple of weeks, we have taken delivery of a wonderful new addition to our collections: the earliest published Russian translation of Goethe’s Faust (1838). This joins two similar relative newcomers – the first full(ish) Russian Faust (1844) and the first Russian translation of another Goethe work, Götz von Berlichingen (1828).
The last few weeks have seen the European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP) pushed ever closer to closing its doors since the university’s controversial investigation by the education ministry’s inspectorate began last summer, with its future now hanging in the balance in the Russian courts. This blog post looks at recent books produced by EUSP’s excellent publishing arm.
EUSP, a private graduate university, has gained admiration since its foundation in 1994 for its work in the social sciences and humanities, as witnessed by the letters of support it has received in recent months within Russia and across the world (English versions can be seen here: https://eu.spb.ru/en/news?filter_40=support_letters). For the librarian, their izdatel’stvo (publishing house) is a great boon. Their contributions to the fields of art and philology are important acquisitions, but their social science output is particularly valuable, filling gaps in the Russian academic market. Three EUSP titles have been added to the catalogue this week, and they are our March 2017 items of the month.
One hundred years ago, Russia was in the grip of the February Revolution. By the Revolution’s end, the Tsar and his government had been overthrown. 1917 had now seen the unthinkable happen, as hundreds of years of tsarist rule were overturned. Yet this was just the beginning of a world-changing year.
First, a pedant’s note about months. Many readers will know that the February and October Revolutions refer to the Julian calendar, and are what we usually refer to as dates in the “Old Style”. In the Gregorian calendar (whose dates are “New Style”), the February Revolution took place in March and the October Revolution in November. The names have, however, always stuck. The Soviets formally adopted the Gregorian calendar in early 1918 but the Fevral’skaia revoliutsiia and Oktiabr’skaia revoliutsiia remained untouched.
While we normally write in this blog about books held by Cambridge, and while 1917-related UL material will certainly be studied in future posts, today’s post celebrates instead a freely available online initiative set up to mark the Russian centenary, the fascinating site 1917: svobodnaia istoriia (1917: free history): https://project1917.ru/ Designed specifically for a modern audience accustomed to real-time updates, the site covers the events of one hundred years ago, “as described by those involved … [using] only diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers and other documents.” Illustrated with photos, art, and newsreel footage from the time, 1917: svobodnaia istoriia is absolutely captivating and terrifyingly good at bringing extremely turbulent times to life.
We have recently started to catalogue various reference works transferred to the University Library from the Modern and Medieval Faculty Library’s Balkan section. Most are academic dictionaries, but among them is the delightful 1938 Croatian picture dictionary Sta je sta (What is what). Each opening provides often quite complex terminology facing illustrative pictures. Produced by two academics and writers, Iso Velikanovic and Nikola Andric, the 685-page dictionary covers a huge number of topics in quite extraordinary detail. Even cricket is included.