Russians laughing in New York during the Civil War in Russia

PRUTKOV, Kozma, Dmitrii MINAEV, Anna BARYKOVA, Stepan RUDANSKYI and others

Iumoristicheskii chtets-deklamator. Polnoe sobranie samykh luchshikh stikhotvorenii

[Humorous Reader-Reciter. Complete Collection of the Very Best Poems]

Publication: Russkoe Narodnoe Izd. Obshchestvo, Niu Iork, 1920.

PRUTKOV, Kozma, Dmitrii MINAEV, Anna BARYKOVA, Stepan RUDANSKYI and others, Iumoristicheskii chtets-deklamator. Polnoe sobranie samykh luchshikh stikhotvorenii

Small-format émigré edition to make the Russophones in America laugh. Extremely rare: no copy traced except one in St. Petersburg.

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Our Notes & References

Very rare pocket-size collection of humorous works by Russian and foreign writers for literary salons, poetry evenings, and home readings in New York – we could locate only one copy worldwide (RNB, St Petersburg), no copy in the USA.

Various collections of poetry titled “Chtets-deklamator” [“Reader-Reciter”] had been published in the Russian empire since the late 19th-century; the most successful series of this almanac was issued by the publisher I. Samonenko in Kyiv, having 12 editions from 1902 to 1917.

Published by Russian-speaking emigrés in New York while Russia was still torn by civil war, the present collection unites satirical works by several generations of authors from the Russian empire: fables of Kozma Prutkov, Ivan Krylov and Dmitrii Minaev, poetry by Aleksei Tolstoy, Dmitrii Merezhkovskii, Anna Barykova and Aleksei Pleshcheev, fragments of plays by Viktor Krylov, and poetic translations of humorous works by Goethe, La Fontaine and Heine among others. The volume ends with a chapter of fragments from tales of the Ukrainian poet Stepan Rudanskyi in the “Little Russian dialect”.


Avenir Alexandrovich Nizoff (a pianist who lived in Edmonton, Canada, in the second half of the 20th century, and gathered a large, wide-ranging library of Russian works, especially covering art, émigré, literature and history).

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Physical Description

Duodecimo (15.6 x 11.2 cm). 160 pp. incl. upper wrapper.


Publisher’s printed wrappers.


In poor condition: edges and spine chipped at extremities, spine partially loose, some wormholes, wrappers fragile and lightly stained; light marginal waterstaining and soiling throughout.

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