Moscow: tip. Shtaba Mosk. voyen. okr. 1903. Item #988
296 pp. 16x22.7 cm, Owner’s binding. Tiny holes on the p. 3 (no text affected), p. 29 is detached, private library stamp (Arkadiy Ioasafovich’ Izmaylov) on the title-page and p.3. Otherwise in a very good condition.
Scarce. Second edition. First edition published earlier the same year. ONE OF THE MOST DETAILED ACCOUNTS OF STUDENT CULTURE IN THE PRE-REVOLUTIONARY RUSSIA. Published by the Russian writer Petr Ivanov (1876-1956), this interesting book provides a rare window into the lesser-known details of student life in Moscow at the turn of the century. The edition was printed two years after the author graduated from Moscow University (Faculty of History and Philology) and is based on Ivanov’s own impressions and experience from daily life as a student. The publication opens with a brief overview of the four types of students’ budgets (average, minimal, high, ideal) and describes money distribution patterns with the accompanying challenges: the lack of finances for food and clothes, the hardships of sharing a room, the temptation of moral depravity, etc. The author offers a lively account of the apartment options for students (chambres garnies, apartments, hostels) and recounts all the “dangers” anticipating a poor newcomer, including bedbugs and exploiter landlords. Ivanov also sets off ten types of students (freshman, unstable, activist, decadent, bon vivant, exotic type, enlightener of young ladies, etc.) and unleashes their social mores through interesting sketches. From the detailed description of student menus and the celebration of Tatiana Day to an overview of the different sources of income, the edition answers such curious questions as: How did students in Tsarist Russia survive on 18 rubles a month? What was their relationship with alcohol? How did students fight with loneliness and why did their encounters with promiscuous women often result in romantic feelings?
The book was first published in 1903. The same year, after the first edition ran out of print, the writing came out in second edition. The author published the third edition of the book in 1918, five years before he emigrated to Germany. Abroad, Ivanov collaborated with different magazines and published a number of works, among which the most famous are Smireniye vo Khriste [i.e. Humility in Christ] (1925), Tayna svyatykh — vvedeniye v Apokalipsis [i.e. The Secret of the Saints – An Introduction to Apocalypse] (1949).
Overall, the book provides a unique panorama of life in the early 20th century Russia and serves as the first comprehensive account of student culture at the time.
Worldcat shows copies of the edition in New York Public Library, University of Chicago Library, Temple University Libraries, Library of Geneva, Cantonal and University Library of Lausanne.