By Sofya Kovalevskaya (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Russian Childhood
Suvorin's newspaper, Novoe vremya (New Times) 12 , during which she wrote on the latest achievements in science and technology: the flying machine, the typewriting machine, the telephone, solar heaters, the newest researches at the Pasteur Institute. She also attended the celebrated trial of the "One Hundred Ninety-three" (mainly of students who had taken part in the movement "to the people" during the summer of 187 4), and collected material which she later used in her novel A Nihilist Girl. The second activity was her partici22 Introduction pation in 1878 in organizing the "Higher Courses for Women" envisaged by its founders as the nucleus of a women's university.
Back in Stockholm for the beginning of the academic year, she finished the manuscript within the next few months. A translator was found to put it into Swedish, and it was read aloud, chapter by chapter, to a group of close friends. In deference to the easily shocked sensibilities of Swedish society, it was decided to issue the book as a novel with the title The Rajevski Sisters. It was an enormous success. It appeared in Russia in its original form during the following year. In the same period, Kovalevskaya finished the prologue and part of the first chapter of a novel she had been thinking about since 1886: Vae Victis (Woe to the Vanquished).
Embarrassed as I am to admit it, that bad 48 Earliest Memories pun of the sexton's remained with me and initiated an era of my existence. From it my chronology begins, the earliest appearance inside me of a distinct self-awareness: who I am, what is my place in the world. As I think back over it now, I believe that I must have been two or three years old at the time, and that the episode took place in Moscow, where I was born. My father served in the artillery and we often had to move from city to city, following after him as his work demanded.
A Russian Childhood by Sofya Kovalevskaya (auth.)