Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian playwright and short-story writer, considered to be among the greatest writers of short fiction in history. His career as a playwright produced four classics, his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics. Along with Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, Chekhov is referred to as one of the three seminal figures in the birth of early modernism in the theatre. Chekhov practiced as a medical doctor throughout most of his literary career: "Medicine is my lawful wife", he once said, "and literature is my mistress."Chekhov renounced the theatre after the reception of The Seagull in 1896, but the play was revived to acclaim in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavski's Moscow Art Theatre, which subsequently produced Chekhov's Uncle Vanya and premiered his last two plays, Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard. These four works present a challenge to the acting ensemble as well as to audiences, because in place of conventional action Chekhov offers a "theatre of mood" and a "submerged life in the text".
Chekhov had at first written stories to earn money, but as his artistic ambition grew, he made formal innovations which have influenced the evolution of the modern short story. He made no apologies for the difficulties this posed to readers, insisting that the role of an artist was to ask questions, not to answer them. Anton Chekhov was born on the feast day of St. Anthony the Great 29 January 1860 in Taganrog, a port on the Sea of Azov in southern Russia, he was the third of six surviving children. His father, Pavel Yegorovich Chekhov, the son of a former serf and his Ukrainian wife, was from the village Olhovatka and ran a grocery store. A director of the parish choir, devout Orthodox Christian, physically abusive father, Pavel Chekhov has been seen by some historians as the model for his son's many portraits of hypocrisy. Chekhov's mother, was an excellent storyteller who entertained the children with tales of her travels with her cloth-merchant father all over Russia. "Our talents we got from our father," Chekhov remembered, "but our soul from our mother."
In adulthood, Chekhov criticised his brother Alexander's treatment of his wife and children by reminding him of Pavel's tyranny: "Let me ask you to recall that it was despotism and lying that ruined your mother's youth. Despotism and lying so mutilated our childhood that it's sickening and frightening to think about it. Remember the horror and disgust we felt in those times when Father threw a tantrum at dinner over too much salt in the soup and called Mother a fool."Chekhov attended the Greek School in Taganrog and the Taganrog Gymnasium, where he was kept down for a year at fifteen for failing an examination in Ancient Greek. He sang at the Greek Orthodox monastery in his father's choirs. In a letter of 1892, he used the word "suffering" to describe his childhood and recalled: When my brothers and I used to stand in the middle of the church and sing the trio "May my prayer be exalted", or "The Archangel's Voice", everyone looked at us with emotion and envied our parents, but we at that moment felt like little convicts.
In 1876, Chekhov's father was declared bankrupt after overextending his finances building a new house, having been cheated by a contractor named Mironov. To avoid debtor's prison he fled to Moscow, where his two eldest sons and Nikolay, were attending university; the family lived in poverty in Moscow. Chekhov was left behind to finish his education. Chekhov remained in Taganrog for three more years, boarding with a man by the name of Selivanov who, like Lopakhin in The Cherry Orchard, had bailed out the family for the price of their house. Chekhov had to pay for his own education, which he managed by private tutoring and selling goldfinches, selling short sketches to the newspapers, among other jobs, he sent every ruble he could spare to his family in Moscow, along with humorous letters to cheer them up. During this time, he read and analytically, including the works of Cervantes, Turgenev and Schopenhauer, wrote a full-length comic drama, which his brother Alexander dismissed as "an inexcusable though innocent fabrication."
Chekhov experienced a series of love affairs, one with the wife of a teacher. In 1879, Chekhov completed his schooling and joined his family in Moscow, having gained admission to the medical school at I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. Chekhov now assumed responsibility for the whole family. To support them and to pay his tuition fees, he wrote daily short, humorous sketches and vignettes of contemporary Russian life, many under pseudonyms such as "Antosha Chekhonte" and "Man without a Spleen", his prodigious output earned him a reputation as a satirical chronicler of Russian street life, by 1882 he was writing for Oskolki, owned by Nikolai Leykin, one of the leading publishers of the time. Chekhov's tone at this stage was harsher than that familiar from his mature fiction. In 1884, Chekhov qualified as a physician, which he considered his principal profession though he made little money from it and treated the poor free of charge. In 1884 and 1885, Chekhov found himself coughing blood, in 1886 the attacks worsened, but he would not admit his tuberculosis to his family or his friends.
He confessed to Leykin, "I am afraid to submit myself to be sounded by my colleagues." He continued writing for weekly periodicals, earning enough mon
Nikolai Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian painter and the brother of Anton Chekhov. As a child Nikolai showed talents for music, he attended the Moscow School of Painting and Architecture. He was unable to finish his studies due to chronic alcoholism and the periods of time weeks, which he would spend living in the Moscow streets. Nikolai was a talented artist, he illustrated Anton's stories. Anton wrote to him, advising him to pursue writing, but to no avail, he died in Luka at the age of 31 of tuberculosis. Nikolai's death influenced Anton's A Boring Story, about a man faced with his own impending death
Russian State Library
The Russian State Library is the national library of Russia, located in Moscow. It is the fifth largest in the world for its collection of books, it was named the V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR from 1925 until it was renamed in 1992 as the Russian State Library; the library has over 275 km of shelves with more than 43 million items, including over 17 million books and serial volumes, 13 million journals, 350 thousand music scores and sound records, 150,000 maps and others. There are items in 247 languages of the world, the foreign part representing about 29 percent of the entire collection. Between 1922 and 1991 at least one copy of every book published in the USSR was deposited with the library, a practice which continues in a similar method today, with the library designated by law as a legal deposit library; the library was founded on July 1, 1862, as Moscow's first free public library named The Library of the Moscow Public Museum and Rumiantsev Museum, or The Rumiantsev Library. It is nicknamed the "Leninka."
Rumyantsev Museum part of the complex was Moscow's first public museum, housed the Art collection of count Nikolai Petrovich Rumyantsev, given to the Russian people and transferred from St. Petersburg to Moscow, its donation covered above all books and manuscripts as well as an extensive numismatic and an ethnographic collection. These, as well as 200 paintings and more than 20,000 prints, selected from the collection of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, could be seen in the so-called Pashkov House. Tsar Alexander II of Russia donated the painting The Appearance of Christ before the People by Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov for the opening of the museum; the citizens of Moscow impressed by the count's altruistic donation, named the new museum after its founder and had the inscription "from count Rumyantsev for the good Enlightenment" carved above its entrance. In the subsequent years, the collection of the museum grew by numerous further donations of objects and money, so that the museum soon housed a yet more important collection of Western European paintings, an extensive antique collection and a large collection of icons.
Indeed, the collection grew so much that soon the premises of the Pashkov House became insufficient, a second building was built beside the museum shortly after the turn of the 20th century to house the paintings in particular. After the October Revolution the contents again grew enormously, again lack of space became an urgent problem. Acute financial problems arose, for most of the money to finance the Museum flowed into the Pushkin Museum, which had only been finished a few years before and was assuming the Rumyantsev Museum's role. Therefore, it was decided in 1925 to dissolve the Rumyantsev Museum and to spread its collections over other museums and institutions in the country. Part of the collections, in particular the Western European art and antiques, were thus transferred to the Pushkin Museum. Pashkov House was renamed the Old Building of the Russian State Library; the old state archive building on the corner of Mokhovaya and Vozdvizhenka Streets was razed and replaced by the new buildings.
Construction of the first stage, designed by Vladimir Shchuko and Vladimir Gelfreikh in 1927–1929, was authorized in 1929 and commenced in 1930. The first stage was complete in 1941. In the process, the building acquired the modernized neoclassicism exterior features of the Palace of Soviets, departing from the stern modernism of the 1927 drafts; the last component of Shchuko's plan, a 250-seat reading hall, was opened in 1945. In 1968 the building reached its capacity, the library launched construction of a new depository in Khimki, earmarked for storing newspapers, scientific works and low-demand books from the main storage areas; the first stage of Khimki library was complete in 1975. In 1925 the complex was renamed the V. I. Lenin State Library of the USSR. In 1992, it was renamed the Russian State Library by order of a decree from President Boris Yeltsin. Edward Kasinec, "A Soviet Research Library Remembered," Libraries & Culture, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 16–26. In JSTOR. Official website Satellite image of the Russian State Library, centered on the main entrance Made in Russia: Russian State Library
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Système universitaire de documentation
The système universitaire de documentation or SUDOC is a system used by the libraries of French universities and higher education establishments to identify and manage the documents in their possession. The catalog, which contains more than 10 million references, allows students and researcher to search for bibliographical and location information in over 3,400 documentation centers, it is maintained by the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education. Official website
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the
National Library of the Czech Republic
The National Library of the Czech Republic is the central library of the Czech Republic. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture; the library's main building is located in the historical Clementinum building in Prague, where half of its books are kept. The other half of the collection is stored in the district of Hostivař; the National Library is the biggest library in the Czech Republic, in its funds there are around 6 million documents. The library has around 60,000 registered readers; as well as Czech texts, the library stores older material from Turkey and India. The library houses books for Charles University in Prague; the library won international recognition in 2005 as it received the inaugural Jikji Prize from UNESCO via the Memory of the World Programme for its efforts in digitising old texts. The project, which commenced in 1992, involved the digitisation of 1,700 documents in its first 13 years; the most precious medieval manuscripts preserved in the National Library are the Codex Vyssegradensis and the Passional of Abbes Kunigunde.
In 2006 the Czech parliament approved funding for the construction of a new library building on Letna plain, between Hradčanská metro station and Sparta Prague's football ground, Letná stadium. In March 2007, following a request for tender, Czech architect Jan Kaplický was selected by a jury to undertake the project, with a projected completion date of 2011. In 2007 the project was delayed following objections regarding its proposed location from government officials including Prague Mayor Pavel Bém and President Václav Klaus. Plans for the building had still not been decided in February 2008, with the matter being referred to the Office for the Protection of Competition in order to determine if the tender had been won fairly. In 2008, Minister of Culture Václav Jehlička announced the end of the project, following a ruling from the European Commission that the tender process had not been carried out legally; the library was affected by the 2002 European floods, with some documents moved to upper levels to avoid the excess water.
Over 4,000 books were removed from the library in July 2011 following flooding in parts of the main building. There was a fire at the library in December 2012. List of national and state libraries Official website