CHARLOTTE ROSENTHAL (Portland, ME, USA) ANASTASIIA VERBITSKAIA: THREE ENCOUNTERS AND THE FOUNDING OF A PUBLISHING HOUSE1 At the end of the nineteenth century, Anastasiia Verbitskaia made the deci- sion to found her own publishing house, and from then on, to publish most of her own books as well as translations of Western novels primarily about "the woman question." The move was risky - she had no guarantee that she would recoup the costs of producing, distributing, and advertising the books. Yet she appears to have been determined to free herself of the need to please various male authority figures. Archival correspondence lets us into the world of an am- bitious young female author with no literary connections who initially put her faith in the judgments of male editors. At least three very discouraging encoun- ters with such figures spurred her on to independence. As a solution to the thorny problem for women of getting into print, Verbitskaia's may have been unique.2 First encounter In Russia of the late nineteenth century, "serious" writers made money-pri- marily through the publication of their work in the so-called "thick" journals as opposed to publishing in less prestigious places such as newspapers and
The Soviet and Post Soviet Review – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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