National Library of Russia

Federal Republic of Germany Consulate General


Exhibition Catalogue

J.W.Goethe.The engraving of an unknown author. The Print Department Collections.

Just as no person bored with others
can be described after Byron,        
so no person bored with books       
can be described after Goethe.      

(as recorded by V.F.Shcherbakov)

A.S.Pushkin. The engraving after  the design of P.Sokolov.1830-1836-s. The Print Department Collections.

In the context of the Goethe - Pushkin Week, on 20 April 1999 the National Library of Russia opened an exhibition of books and illustrations entitled Goethe and Russia and dedicated to the two remarkable events: the 250th birthday of J.W.Goethe, an outstanding figure of German Enlightenment and founder of modern German literature, and the 200th birthday of A.S.Pushkin, father of modern Russian literature.

The opening section presents the work of Goethe and Pushkin in terms of world literary history.

The next section contains Russian translations of Goethe's work. Among them are some unique editions like the first exposition of the tragedy "Clavigo" by O.P.Kozodavlev (St.P. 1780), "The Passions of young Werther: together with Charlotte's letters to Caroline, written in the days of her acquaintance with Werther" by F.Galchenkov (St.P., 1796), the earliest 18th-century journal publications. During the 19th century, with the exception of a few separate editions and several selected works (1842 - 1843 published by I.Glazunov and I.Bocharov; 1865 - 1871 published by N.Tiblen; 1878 - 1880 ed. by N.V.Gerbel and published by Stasiulevich, etc.), Goethe's works appeared in periodicals or almanachs. They were translated by such eminent poets and writers of the Golden Age of Russian literature as G.R.Derzhavin, V.A.Zhukovsky, A.Kh.Vostokov, M.Pogodin, M.Lermontov, F.Koni, A.Grigoriev, L.Mey, I.Aksakov, I.Tiutchev, A.Fet, etc. A special sub-section contains translations of the greatest monument of German art and the world literature - the tragedy "Faust", Goethe's life work, referred to by Pushkin in his notes on Byron in this manner: ""Faust" is the acme of human genius, an achievement of modern poetry of the same scale as the "Illiade" as a monument of classical antiquity". The National Library of Russia holds almost all the fragments, starting from the "Dream": An Imitation of Goethe's by V.A.Zhukovsky, and all the separate editions of this summary of 18th-century Enlightenment.

Of special interest is the section displaying German translations of Pushkin's work, including those published in his lifetime. The's Rossica collection provides for Library patrons the whole range of work written by this creator of Russian literary lore, translated into Goethe's native language. A unique section presents the books published in the Volga German Republic in the 1930s.

Additionally, every section contains illustrative and handwritten material from the Library Manuscripts and Fine Prints.


  1. Goethe, Pushkin and the world literature

  2. Goethe in Russian translations:

    1. Goethe, 18th-century editions

    2. Goethe, 19th-century editions

    3. "Faust". 19th-century editions

    4. School Library(published for class and home reading), 19th-century editions

    5. Goethe, 20th-century editions

    6. "Faust", 20th-century editions

    7. School Library(published for class and home reading), 20th-century editions

  3. Pushkin in German translations

    1. Life editions

    2. Pushkin, 19th-century editions

    3. Pushkin, 20th-century editions

    4. Pushkin. Books published in the Volga German Republic

  4. Manuscript Material

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