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Digital Library: Sovremennye zapiski

In this section the images of the most interesting items of the rare books and periodicals collection of the museum will be posted. Now you can view the image of several issues of the Sovremennye Zapiski journal.

Currently following journals are included in electronic library:

One of the most valuable parts of the museum library is a collection of journals and other periodicals published by Russian emigres abroad in the 1920s-1960s. Most of these are the periodicals where Vladimir Nabokov-Sirins works were published regularly - "Sovremennye Zapiski", "Russkiye Zapiski", "Novy Zhurnal" but we also have several issues of the "Chisla" journal, which was headed by Nabokovs literary opponents. Chisla are exceptionally interesting for the study of the literary debates of the 1930s.

"Sovremennye Zapiski " (Contemporary Annals) was the leading literary and political journal of the Russian emigration that was published in 1920-1940 in Paris. The journal was created by a group of Russian politicians all of whom were members of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party, with the participation of A.F.Kerensky. The five coeditors of the journal were M.V.Vishnyak, N.D.Avksentyev, V.V.Rudnev, I.I.Bunakov-Fondaminsky and (till 1925) A.I. Gukovsky. The name "Sovremennye Zapiski" was to remind readers of the two famous Russian 19th century jounals: Sovremennikand Otechestvennye Zapiski. Indeed, the social and cultural impact of the journal can only be compared to that of the two classical periodicals of the nineteenth century.

Contrary to the tradition of the Russian literary journals, none of the editors of the "Sovremennye Zapiski " were writers of fiction or literature scholars. All the five editors focused on socio-political issues. Nevertheless, the journal was able to bring together all of the most prominent writers and poets of the Russian emigration.

Within the twenty years of the journals existence works by Ivan Bunin, Mark Aldanov, Boris Zaitsev, Ivan Shmelev, Konstantin Balmont, Andrei Bely, Marina Tsvetaeva, Alexander Kuprin, Aleksey Remizov, Zinaida Gippius, Dmitry Merezhkovsky, Teffi, Vladislav Hodasevich, Alexei Tolstoy, Yuri Annenkov, Nina Berberova, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Gaito Gazdanov, Georgi Ivanov, Georgy Adamovich, Boris Poplavski, David Knut and many others. From 1927 to 1940 Vladimir Nabokov- Sirin was a regular contributor to the journal.

Among the authors of the journal were philosophers S. Bulgakov, N. Berdyaev, N. Lossky, L. Shestov, L. Karsavin, B. Vysheslavtsev, literary critics P. Bitsilli,. V.Veidle, K. Mochulsky, A. Bem, G. Fedotov, F. Stepun. However, the essays by critics of a different vein - G. Adamovich, D. Svyatopolk-Mirsky were also published.

The editors of the journal proclaimed the consolidation of the Russian emigre culture as their mission and that explains why such different writers and scholars were able to publish in the "Sovremennye Zapiski "

Along with the journal there existed the "Sovremennye Zapiski " Publishing House that produced 35 books (almost all of them were separate publications of the works published previously in the journal). In 1937 the editors attempted to combine the cultural efforts of the European and the Far Eastern Russian emigration in the new journal "Russkiye Zapiski" but only four issues were published.

When were asked to justify our life in emigration we will show the volumes of "Sovremennye Zapiski " as I.I.Bunakov-Fondaminsky used to say, according to his friend and coeditor M.V.Vishnyak.