Naum Sindalovsky

Naum Sindalovsky, a native of St. Petersburg, had no idea he would be the first to discover the city's folklore when he was majoring as a shipbuilding engineer. But his multidisciplinary career helped him find a fresh outlook on his city's comparatively short history. Sindalovsky started collecting Petersburgian folklore about 35 years ago, determined to shatter the common historical sterotype that a city less than three centuries old and built "out of nothing" could not have much of a folklore. Today, Sindalovsky's library includes over 8,300 cards with words, legends, anecdotes, chastushkas - everything Petersburgers have ever said about their city. Sindalovsky's first book, Legends and Myths of St. Petersburg, was published in 1994. He has since published 12 books (none in English, unfortunately), all about different aspects of Petersburg's unofficial history, as told by its residents.

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Dueling Capitals (May/June 2003)

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