St. Peterburg: Vestn. znaniya, 1911. 60 pp.: portr. 24x15,5 cm. In later wrappers. Some restoration of the title page, private library stamp on the t.p. (in English).
The first edition of the important title by Vladimir Bekhterev (1857-1927), one of the most unorthodox and influential minds of the Russian thought of the late 19th-early 20th century. The founding father of the objective psycology, he has contributed to neurology, organization of the health and mental institutions, etc.
It’s less known that Bekhterev was actively involved in destigmatisation of same-sex relationships in Russia in the 1920s when such relationships became entirely legal for the first time in the country’s history. Bekhterev kept the correspondence with homosexual people across the country, was commenting on their issues in his public lectures and was generally researching the subject. That research was not concluded because of Bekhterev’s death in 1927 which is regarded controversial and the cause is still unclear.
One of the reasons why Bekhterev’s name has been surrounded by the certain mystical atmosphere during his life and up to the present day is his long-time studies of hypnosis, mental implanting and telepathy. In the 1920s he was conducting the mass hypnotic sessions to cure alcoholism.
Bekhterev was also named the main prototype for Bulgakov’s character professor Preobrazhensky in his novel ‘The Heart of a Dog’.
In this edition which sums up Bekhterev’s research to that date, he stresses the difference between implanting (suggestion) and hypnosis. Bekhterev was interested in phenomena of a direct mental implanting and made experiments to influence behavior of dogs at a distance. Bekhterev’s research on associated responses would become highly connected with the important area of psychology called Behaviorism. It also led to a long-standing rivalry with Ivan Pavlov.