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Snegirev I.M. The experience of reasoning about Russian proverbs. Moscow. 1823.

Read in the Society of Lovers of Russian Literature. An old people’s proverb is not said by. Moscow, in the University printing house, the year of 1823. 4 [n.n.], 49 p., 8°. Contemporary half calf. The soft printed publishing covers were preserved. A separate print from «The Compositions in verses and prose», p.3, 1823, vol.7, published in a small number of copies for needs of SLRL. On the title-page there is a magnificent autograph of the author to «the old pal» Constantin Fedorovich Kalajdovich, the middle of three Kalajdovich brothers (Peter, Constantin and Ivan). The book was actively studied by Constantin Fedorovich. On many margins there are present his notes and postscripts. The book is devoted to Anton Antonovich Prokopovich-Antonovsky.


As it is known, at Moscow University there were 2 societies: the Society of Russian history and antiquities and Read in the Society of Lovers of Russian Literature. They were organized by professors of the university but there were also members from the outside. Ivan Michajlovich Snegirev graduated from the course of literature of Moscow University in 1810 and taught in the same place from 1816 to 1826 in the rank of junior scientific assistant and from 1826 to1835 in the rank of professor. Constantin Fedorovich was a member of both societies, and he served for Moscow Archives of the Board of Foreign Affairs (from 1817 to 1828). The birthday of SLRL fell on July 6, 1811. On that day the director of the Noble boarding school at the university Anton Antonovich Prokopovich-Antonovsky was elected its chairman (see the Dedication). There were present the following professors: Alexey Merzljakov, Michael Kachenovsky, Roman Timkovsky. Between them in the armchair there were sitting the great lover of belles-lettres Dmitry Veljashev-Volyntsev and popular Moscow fabulist Vasily Lvovich Pushkin, in all there were present 21 people. The curator of the university Paul Golenischev-Kutuzov announced the royally approved charter of SLRL. At the third sitting of the society held on November 14, 1811 there were admitted in the rank of employees Constantin and Peter Kalajdovich and their brother Ivan was admitted later. Ivan Snegirev was admitted as an employee of SLRL on March 19, 1812 and on December 20, 1819 he was admitted as a full member. For 100 years of existence of SLRL the pick of Russian humanity have been its members namely writers, poets, historians, philosophers and literary critics and, what is the most important, almost all well-known Russian bibliographers. The atmosphere of passion and search, spirit of creativity and competition is peculiar to almost all sittings of the society. Even at the second sitting thereof that was held on October 28, 1811 there were laid down the foundations of scrupulous Russian bibliography. Alexey Merzljakov reported on the previously unknown manuscript of prince Antiokh Kantemir. It is this report in SLRL «The experience of reasoning about Russian proverbs» that would determine the fate of I.M. Snegirev in far 1823 as the most well-known Russian ethnographer. There would be created the famous «Russians in their proverbs» in 4 volumes and «Russian demotic celebrations and superstitious ceremonies» in 4 releases, but it would happen later …

References: Smirnov-Sokol’skii, Biblioteka, vol. I, №1136.

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