display | more...
Russian books, or, at the very least, ones printed back in the USSR era, have a strange format as compared to your typical Western book.

The first thing to notice is that the table of contents is invariably in the back of the book. The back of the book is also usually, but not always where publishing information is located. The strange thing about this publishing information is that it is not at all similar to the type of information that is given in a normal book. Instead of a simple publisher's name, city, publishing date and copyright date, you are presented with a whole slew of useless information, much like the credits in a movie theater.

Typical information includes:

Furthermore, instead of presenting the reader with a simple publication date (for bibliographic purposes), and a copyright date (most useful for knowing when the book was written), the book tries to confuse most readers by heaping useless details, and unknown abbreviations in a big, unreadable pile. A typical excerpt follows:

Submitted into organization July 16, 1975. Signed into printing September 3, 1975. Paper of typograph # 1. Format 84x1081/32. 10 Pri. L., 16.8 Agr. Pri. L., 18,122 Tea.-Pub. L. 1 200 000 Copies. (I factory 1-300 000). Order #720. Cost 78 cents.

After which, the typical publisher's info follows (though, also with unneccessary detail, such as the exact address of the factory that printed this particular book). Please notice that copyright date is conspicuously absent, making it nigh-impossible to find out when the book was actually written.

It is unclear who would actually need anything like this information, and the only explanation I can come up with is that the Soviet government used these abbreviations as secret codes to communicate with its many agents -- though it seems that a more efficient system would be easy to develop.

liveforever says "About the table of contents being at the back - this is actually a common thing in German/Central European/Nordic books from before the 1940s."
Cletus the Foetus says "'Submitted to organization' means submitted to censors. In the Soviet bureaucracy, this was as important a step in publication as copyright is in America (copyright wouldn't have been as big a deal over there, as your chances of making much of a profit off anything you do was slim).

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.