Harbin: Tsentral'nyi Pushkinskii Komitet, 1938. Large octavo (26.6 × 19.2 cm). Original decorative wrappers; 216 pp. Very good; wrappers lightly worn and just beginning to detach from text. Item #4781
Published by the Central Pushkin Committee in Kharbin (modern day China), this collection of reproductions illustrating Pushkin’s life is a kind of catalog of the art exhibit organized by the Committee for the 100th anniversary of Pushkin’s death in 1937. As a “national poet” Aleksandr Pushkin (1799-1837) had great symbolic significance among the white émigrés, who had to leave Russia fleeing the Bolshevik regime. While the Bolsheviks presented Pushkin as a revolutionary anti-monarchist (because of his early connections with the Decembrists), the émigré intelligentsia emphasized Pushkin as the standard bearer of Russian high culture. Pushkin societies, reading circles, conferences and even art exhibits like this one were fairly common in émigré communities in Europe, Asia and America. The Russian population of Harbin decreased significantly after the 1935 when Japan occupied the region, with this publication as one of the last remnants of the white émigré community in the city. KVK, OCLC show just over a dozen copies of this publication worldwide. See also: Olga Bakich, "Pushkinskie dnia v Kharbine - 1937 god" on the Pushkin centennial in Harbin. One of 1160 copies printed.