Kaluga: Tipografiia S. A. Semenova (self-published), 1914. Octavo (25.5 × 17.5 cm). Original tan printed wrappers; 16 pp. Two pp. of illustrations. Complete list of the author's publications on pp. 2-3 of wrappers. Light wear to wrappers; trace of moisture stains to wrapper edges, paper label remnant to upper left corner and erased private owner stamp.
A very uncommon work by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the Russian aviation and astronautics pioneer, one of the founding fathers of rocket science and an important inspiration to the Soviet space program, but also Western research in the field. Tsiolkovsky was largely an autodidact who operated a small aerodynamics laboratory in his own apartment in provincial Kaluga; his early works were published by himself in small numbers and without additional funding. They are today very scarce. Although now considered a major pioneer in his field, Tsiolkovsky also failed to be recognized for his achievements throughout most of his career, gaining slight fame only in the early 1930s. His work is especially interesting insofar as it is not only scientifically motivated, but intrinsically connected to the Russian cultural and philosophical movement of Cosmism. Thus, much of Tsiolkovsky's inspiration for striving toward space travel can be traced to his early encounters with the Russian cosmist Nikolai Fedorov (1829-1903). He also authored various pamphlets with utopian proposals for reducing poverty and human suffering, such as the present publication which outlines his psychological conception of active Nirvana, a conscious attempt to regulate emotions aimed at enabling humans to act in their most goal-oriented, optimized state. Tsiolkovskii also strives for a quantitative approach to the "psycho-ethical" state of a person. Somewhat unconnectedly, the publication also contains sixteen drawings (one leaf) of Tsiolkovskii's metallic dirigable as well as a bibliography of the author's works. Like all self-published papers by Tsiolkovskii, this one is marked "publication and property of the author" [Izdanie i sobstvennost' avtora]. The rear wrapper features an invitation to view the author's models for metallic dirigibles at his home. KVK, OCLC show two copies, at the British Library and Houghton Library.
Book ID: P003562