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    MOSCOW, January 28, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent Natalia Kurova) - Russia's main library, the Russian State Library, hosted the presentation of the complete 15-volume collection of the great Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837), in English.

    Director General of the Library Viktor Fedorov said that this was a historic event when the complete collection of the great Pushkin's works is first published in the language of Byron and Shakespeare.

    One version was presented to the library by the British publisher and MP Iain Sproat.

    Pushkin is the greatest poet of all times, but unfortunately such Russian writers as Dostoyevsky, Chekhov and Tolstoy were better known in English-speaking countries. I did not hear about Pushkin for a long time. I owe my 12-year trip to Pushkin to two incidents, said the British publisher.

    Sproat continued that when he was on holidays in Vienna, he came across a book in English. These were Pushkin's stories, and after reading only one passage from Arap of Peter the Great, he realised that this was a writer of genius. And the second incident was when he visited the exhibition in London timed for Pushkin's 150th birth anniversary.

    These incidents made me think about what I could do to make Pushkin more popular and thereby pay him tribute. I decided to publish a complete collection of Alexander Pushkin's works. To this end, I united leading Russian and American Pushkin experts into an editorial board, said the British MP.

    The work over the 15-volume edition was an important enlightenment task for me. I wanted all British readers to understand, learn more about and love Pushkin. The 12 years of the work over this project were a true happiness for me, and my heart and my mind were devoted to and belonged to Pushkin only, said Sproat.

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