(Knowledge), a publishing association in St. Petersburg from 1898 to 1913, organized by members of the Committee for Literacy (K. P. Piatnitskii and others) for cultural and educational purposes.
Znanie initially published books for a mass audience on natural science, history, education, and art. M. Gorky joined Znanie in 1900 and, after its reorganization, became its director in late 1902. Through Znanie, Gorky brought together realist writers who in their work reflected the oppositional tendencies of Russian society. Publishing in a short period of time the collected works of M. Gorky (9 vols.), A. Serafimovich, A. I. Kuprin, V. V. Veresaev, Skitalets (S. G. Petrov), N. D. Teleshov, and S. A. Naidenov, among others, Znanie became known as the most progressive of all Russian publishing houses directed toward broad democratic reader-ships. In 1904 the publishing house began issuing theSborniki tvarishchestva “Znanie” (Collections of the “Znanie” Association), publishing 40 books by 1913. V. I. Lenin wrote that Gorky was aiming through these collections “at a concentration of the best forces of belles-lettres”(Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 48, p. 3). The circulation of the collections reached 65,000 copies. They included the works of M. Gorky, A. P. Chekhov, A. I. Kuprin, A. Serafimovich, L. N. Andreev, I. A. Bunin, and V. V. Veresaev. Translations were also published.
Writers participating in the collections from 1905 to 1907 were united in their protest against tsarism, capitalist oppression, national discord, religious prejudice, and petit-bourgeois morality. Within the tradition of critical realism shared by most Znanie authors, Gorky and Serafimovich, on one hand, stood out as artists of nascent socialist realism; Andreev and certain others, however, were subject to the influences of the decadent movement. After the Revolution of 1905-07 this difference became more marked. In 1911 principal editorship of the Znanie collections was transferred to V. S. Miroliubov.
In addition to publishing collected works of young writers and collections, the Znanie Association issued the so-called Penny Library, in which short works of Znanie writers were published. Gorky also carried out assignments of the Bolsheviks, publishing series of sociopolitical pamphlets, including works of K. Marx, F. Engels, P. Lafargue, and A. Bebel. The Penny Library issued over 300 publications, with editions totaling nearly 4 million copies.
During the period of reaction after the Revolution of 1905-07 many participants in Znanie left the publishing house and joined a camp hostile to progressive literature. Gorky, forced to live abroad during this period, severed his ties with the publishing house in 1912.
REFERENCESKastorskii, S. “M. Gor’kii i poety-’znan’evtsy.’” In M. Gor’kii i poety “Znaniia.” Leningrad, 1958.
Bugrov, B. S. “Dramaturgiia ‘Znaniia.’” In the collection Gor’kovskie chteniia [vol. 8]. Moscow, 1964.
(Knowledge), an all-Union society in the USSR; a voluntary public organization responsible for the dissemination of political and scientific knowledge and for the communist education of the working masses. It was founded in 1947 as the All-Union Society for the Dissemination of Political and Scientific Knowledge and has been known as Znanie since 1963. The administrative body of the society, the board, is elected at all-Union congresses for a term of four years. Academician S. I. Vavilov was the first chairman of the board. Academician I.I . Artobolevskii has headed the board since 1966.
The All-Union Society Znanie unites 15 Znanie societies of the Union republics. The society, has organizations in all of the autonomous republics, krais, oblasts, and national okrugs and in cities and raions. The primary organizations of Znanie are in scientific establishments, educational institutions, and business enterprises. On Jan. 1, 1972, Znanie numbered 2,457,000 members, including 1,700 academicians and corresponding members of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and the Union republics, including branch academies, and 107,000 doctors and candidates of science, professors, and docents. The society was awarded the Order of Lenin in 1972.
Znanie works in all branches of knowledge, organizing public lectures, scientific addresses and conferences, seminars, topical evenings, oral journals, popular readings, reports of the creative activity of scholars in production groups, discussions, and scientific consultations; it participates in radio and television programs and in the creation of scientific and popular science films. In 1970 the members of the society gave 18.5 million lectures, attended by over 950 million people’s The society is very active in work in the people’s universities.
In Moscow the society is in charge of the Polytechnic Museum, the Central Polytechnic Library, the Central Lecture Agency (with large and small halls), the Planetarium, and the Experimental Factory of Visual Aids and Demonstration Devices. The society runs lecture halls, planetariums, and houses of dissemination of scientific-technological knowledge in Moscow, Leningrad, and Kiev and houses of scientific atheism in Moscow, Frunze, and Tashkent.
Printed propaganda occupies a significant place in the activity of the society. The Znanie Publishing House belongs to it. In Moscow the society publishes the journals Mezhdunarodnaia zhizn’ (International Affairs) in Russian, French, and English, Nauka i zhizn’ (Science and Life), Znanie—sila (Knowledge Is Power), Nauka i religiia (Science and Religion), and Slovo lektora (Address of the Lecturer). Similar publications are issued in a number of Union republics.
Znanie maintains regular contacts with similar societies in the socialist countries, with workers’ educational unions, and with associations that promote the development of science in a number of capitalist countries. The S. I. Vavilov Medal is awarded annually to the best lecturers, including progressive foreign scholars.
IU. K. FISHEVSKII
(Knowledge). the publishing house of the All-Union “Znanie” Society, founded in Moscow in 1951.
Znanie published popular science literature in various fields, including the subscription series New Developments in Life, Science, and Technology (24 series) and the People’s University (seven departments), the series of instructions and guides for lectures Help for Lecturers, the mass series Read This, Comrade, and the international popular science annuals Science and Mankind (since 1962) and The Future of Science (since 1967). In 1971, Znanie published 633 books and pamphlets, with editions totaling 30,215,000 copies.