[AN EARLY SOVIET STUDY OF SLEEP] Son: Biologicheskiy ocherk [i.e. Sleep: Biological Essay]
Vologda: Severnyy pechatnik, 1927. Item #1173
65 pp. 19x12 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Tears of the spine, wrappers detached. Otherwise internally clean copy.
Scarce. First edition.
AN INTERESTING WORK DEDICATED TO THE STUDY OF SLEEP PHENOMENON.
Published in 1927, this brochure attempts to illuminate biological peculiarities of sleep. The book was written by the noted Soviet entomologist, zoologist, and one of the most prolific science popularizers of the time, Nikolay Plavilshchikov (1892-1962). In the edition, the author sheds light on the external and internal characteristics of the state of sleep and unfolds their correlation with such factors as alcohol, hypnosis, drugs, etc. The book offers a brief historical overview of both foreign and Soviet sleep theories and extends upon the topic of sleep deprivation with an emphasis on its causes and effect on the viability of animals and humans. The edition came out as a part of the series published by the State Timiryazev Scientific-Research Institute and intended to propagate the natural-scientific basis of dialectical materialism (a philosophy of science and nature that accepts the evolution of the natural world and the emergence of new qualities of being at new stages of evolution).
Plavilshchikov went down in the history of the Soviet literature mainly for his contribution to the development of the study of natural history. Some of his most well-known works include Gomunkulus [i.e. Homunculus] (1958), Ocherki po istorii zoologii [i.e. Essays on the History of Zoology] (1941), Fauna SSSR [i.e. Fauna of the USSR], etc. Plavilshchikov’s name is also connected with the infamous incident that occurred during his early years in the Zoological Institute. The scientist shot his professor, Grigorii Kozhevnikov and his maid (both survived) in 1921. The attack was labeled as the acute episode of schizophrenia, and Nikolay was placed in the psychiatric hospital for a couple of months. He was reinstituted after Kozhevnikov’s death in 1933 and spent his entire life working in the Zoological Institute. In 1946, he was appointed the role of the Deputy Director of the Museum.
Worldcat shows a copy of the edition at Princeton University Library.