Pa, evo sta kaze autorka:
The scientific and technological revolution in the West coincided with a veritable explosion of popular print culture in Russia. From the late 1880s, which Jeffrey Brooks, in his seminal study of media and literacy, calls the “peak period of periodical publication,” science and technology began to emerge as the primary indices of a rapidly changing world that Russian newspapers and magazines hastened to bring home to their audience. Reports about groundbreaking technoscientific advancements occupied dramatically increasing space in large- circulation and limited- edition journals alike. In the illustrated weekly The Field (Niva), which Brooks notes “was read by an audience that extended from primary schoolteachers, rural parish priests, and the urban middle class to the gentry,” coverage of science and technology increased from about 10 percent in the mid- 1880s to more than 50 percent in 1900. The European Herald (Evropeiskii vestnik), a bastion of progressive thought previously devoted to philosophy and literature, also began to carry long features about the latest discoveries and inventions. From 1891 onward, The Field began to offer a special supplement on popular science every month.
The strongest indicator of this trend was the appearance of magazines such as Nature and People, which programmatically devoted themselves to making the esoteric fields of science and technology accessible to the lay reader. Nature and People was followed not only by Around the World (Vokrug sveta), which continued publication through the Soviet period and is still read in Russia today, but also numerous other periodicals such as Argus, Scientific Review (Nauchnoe obozrenie) and The Journal of the Latest Discoveries and Inventions (Zhurnal noveishchikh otkrytii i izobretenii). Publications dedicated to specific subjects that particularly excited the public imagination, such as physics, astronomy, paleontology, electricity, medicine, and flight, occupied a special niche in the new market of popular science magazines. Aviation Herald, which carried Tsiolkovsky’s science fiction, began circulating soon after the Wright brothers’ first flight and targeted aspiring professionals as well as amateurs. As proudly noted by the editors of Nature and People, most of these publications freely conflated journalism and speculative writing.
A shared lexicon of science and technology created an unprecedented bridge between cosmopolitan intellectuals and the burgeoning middle classes, Petersburg and the provinces, urban consumers and “rural primary schoolteachers and parish priests,” professional scientists and amateur enthusiasts, and most significantly, writer and their public. This heterogeneous collective constituted the first implied and real audience of science fiction in Russia. They devoured translations of Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and H. G. Wells, serialized alongside Russian science fiction writers on the pages of the same periodicals that also carried news about the latest techno- scientific developments, speculated about their implications, advertised technological trinkets, and announced demonstrations of scientific marvels. Despite, or perhaps because of, the uneven manifestations of technological modernization in everyday Russian life, science fiction became the self- identified narrative of a new imagined community that Zamyatin called “we modern people.”