I met Snezhana Korovina-Reymers about three years ago when she came to visit me at Arizona State University's Russian Language Section. She told me she had posted a site addressed www.LearnRussianAZ.com on the web, and that she and her husband Sergei had recently emigrated to Arizona from Russia and were trying to find their place in our society. I checked out this website and found it to be a monumental compilation of bilingual information about Russian language, literature, history, art, dance, and music. I invited her to speak to one of my classes, but she declined to do so for some reason...I thought because of a basic shyness. The next time she came to my attention was after she and her husband had decided, just this past month, to return to Russia with their infant daughter. I thought this a sad commentary on the present state of our economy in which such talented and positively committed young people had felt unable to find satisfying employment among us...a kind of tragedy I hadn't previously seen among the Russian emigre population here. But in leaving (her site now taken down, unfortunately) Snezhana donated a collection of Russian books to our section, thinking to benefit our students. To my surprise I noticed that Snezhana had published this "Dictionary of Polychromatic Phenomena" at the Bashkir State University in Ufa, Russia, in 2006. Since I have long been interested in psycholinguistic aspects of color (see my Shvoong review of Larisa Prokofieva's Sound-Color Associativity: Universal, National, Individual (Saratov, Russia, 2007, ISBN 978-5-91272-288-2) at: www.shvoong.com/social-sciences) I was curious about it and read it straight away.
She synaesthetically divides the colors into "warm" colors (red, orange, and yellow), "cold" colors (green, light blue, dark blue, and violet), and "achromatic" colors (white, black, and gray). Then, for each color she provides a systematic relation of its evolved societal meaning: linguistic, mythological, cosmological, heraldic, religious, physical, psychological, medicinal, and sociological, with treatments of the color's use in human dress, in advertising, in music, painting, literature, and ergonomics. Derivative composite shades are also included, often in tables. As I read these color characterizations, mostly subjective, I couldn't resist comparing them to the observations made by Larisa Prokofieva in her book, which, published only the next year (2007), did not cite Snezhana Korovina-Reymers' work in her bibliography (but then it also doesn't cite mine). I'm pleased to report nevertheless that the color characterizations in the two works are quite uniformly in accord...the psychological focus of Prokofieva's work supporting well the sociological focus of Korovina-Reymers. Since both of these interesting works are to this date only available in their native Russian, I can only recommend them for translation into English and other languages. Snezhana Korovina-Reymers has a stimulating work here of genuine interdisciplinary significance.