12mo, pp. 61, with frontispiece; a very good copy in the original illustrated wrappers, frontispiece and wrappers designed by Mstislav Dobuzhinskii; book-ticket of O. Bisonta with a profile portrait of Akhmatova; booksellers’ stamps to inside of back cover.
US $730 €659
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First edition: a collection of 38 poems written between 1917 and 1919, and later included in the larger collection Anno Domini MCMXXI published in early 1922. These were Akhmatova’s first poems about the civil war.
Kilgour 7; Rowell & Wye 334; Tarasenkov p. 24.
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AKHMATOVA, Anna Andreevna.
Stikhotvoreniia (1909–1960) [Poems (1909–1960)].
First edition: a severely censored selection of poems, taken both from the early books Evening (1912), Rosary (1914), White Flock (1917), and Plantain (1921), and also from Akhmatova’s later collections Reed and Seventh Book. Some of these latter poems are published here for the first time.
OLESHA, Iurii Karlovich.
Spisok blagodeianii … [List of blessings].
First edition of the writer’s only original play. Olesha (1899–1960) is best known for the short novel Zavist’ (Envy, 1927), which was fêted by both Soviet and émigré critics and established the young writer’s reputation almost overnight. ‘A writer of great distinction, … as subtle – and sometimes as elusive – as the best representatives of that Western psychological school with which he had so many affinities, … Olesha wrote comparatively little …, and when the volume of his collected works was published in 1934, it contained all his fiction. Yet his one novel and the several short stories and plays are a more remarkable and lasting phenomenon of modern Russian literature than the many bulky tomes of more fortunate and more popular Soviet writers’ (Slonim, Soviet Russian Literature, p. 124f).