Prince publishes Pushkin's barbs

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The Independent Online
ST PETERSBURG - The sulphurous private notebooks of the Russian writer and poet Alexander Pushkin are to be published in full for the first time, thanks to a project backed by the Prince of Wales.

The Prince will be in St Petersburg tomorrow to sign a final agreement to publish 800 facsimile copies of the notebooks in eight volumes, with commentaries by Russian and US specialists.

The pounds 500,000 project has been financed by his Business Leader's Forum, set up 10 years ago to promote responsible private enterprise, and is backed by the city's 'Pushkin House' cultural centre.

The notebooks, famous for their caustic caricatures of famous people, were kept by the prolific writer from the time he left school until his death in a duel in 1837, aged 38.

They include everyday jottings such as spending records, original passages from the verse novel Eugene Onegin and the drama Boris Godunov, poems, meditations and caricatures of the famous, including Voltaire and Napoleon.

The notebooks will be on sale to institutions for around pounds 3,000 a set next year. - AFP