It is a great pleasure to write this Introduction, suggested by the trans- lators and requested by Springer-Verlag. What can be more pleasant than to recall one's student days? My own go back to 1912 when, in Kharkov, I often heard Markov being described as "Neistovyi Andrei." This description is difficult to translate. Perhaps "Andrew the irrepressible," with the addition "who does not pull any punches." Two of the charac- teristic performances of Markov are briefly described by the editor Ondar. One is Markov's fight "against reaction, backwardness and religion." The other is Markov's renunciation of "all honors and decorations he had received from the tsarist government," this in protest against the exclu- sion from the Academy of A. M. Gorky, the revered writer. Now I wish to add a third item. In the tsarist regime, membership in the Imperial Academy was occa- sionally conferred on high noblemen. Neistovyi Andrei did not like this and, to manifest his disapproval, composed a limerick. It was about a Duke Dundook becoming a member of the Academy, a limerick not suited for the ears of ladies! It is not likely that Markov's limerick was ever pub- lished. It circulated by word of mouth. The little book edited by Ondar is very attractive. Also, I am highly appreciative of the work of the translators Charles and Margaret Stein.
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc. ISBN: 9781461381358 Number of pages: 181 Weight: 320 g Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 11 mm Edition: Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 198
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