8vo, pp. 207; some off-setting to title; contemporary ownership note to title dated Manila 1954; uncut in the original illustrated wrappers by Manuel Benet and Manuel Mampaso, spine worn and chipped at foot, front hinge cracking.
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Historia del Corazón.
First edition of this important work by the Nobel prize-winning poet.
‘Aleixandre is one of the few poets of this century who managed to rise and find something above the emptiness. The shift was fairly dramatic. It came with The Story of the Heart (1954). Aleixandre does not lose his gloominess in this book, but despair becomes only one of the tones his voice can take, a part of the register, not the whole song. The bulk of the book affirms human fellowship, a spiritual unity, friendliness. He has written that it “was begun as a work of love in the strict sense”. From there it opens outward to a world of people. It makes his early books seem almost reticent’ (Lewis Hyde, in the introduction to A Longing for the light, selected poems of Vicente Aleixandre, 1979).
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RAFALOVICH, Sergei L’vovich.
Avgust. Stikhotvoreniia [August. Poems].
First edition: a rare collection from the prolific if little-known poet and theatre critic. It includes one piece on the death of Blok. Rafalovich lived in Paris from 1909, but made annual trips to Russia. An opponent of futurism, he collaborated on numerous works with the émigré community.
POEM ON THE 1755 LISBON EARTHQUAKE ALMEIDA, Theodoro de.
Lisboa destruida poema, author o P. Theodoro de Almeida, da Congregaçaõ do Oratorio de Lisboa.
First edition of this poem in six cantos, with extensive notes, on the disastrous 1755 Lisbon earthquake, by the Oratorian priest and philosopher Almeida (1722-1804). One of the deadliest in history, the earthquake almost totally destroyed the Portuguese capital and accentuated political tensions within the kingdom. It was widely discussed by European Enlightenment philosophers, including Voltaire and Rousseau, and led to important debates around theodicy and philosophical optimism.
Almeida was one of the most important figures of the iluminismo in Portugal and spent time in exile in France following the persecution of his congregation by the Marquis of Pombal. He wrote Lisboa destruida soon after the earthquake but it remained in manuscript until 1803, its publication perhaps motivated by the outbreak of the Napoleonic Wars, which threatened to bring fresh disaster to his country. In his prologue, Almeida refers to Voltaire’s Poème sur le désastre de Lisbonne as ‘obra dictada, naõ pelas Musas Christãs, mas certamente pelas Furias infernaes’. Almeida’s poem has been praised by the bibliographer Inocênio for its historical value and is illustrated with beautiful vignettes alluding to the earthquake.
Provenance: this copy belonged to one Captain Saunders of the 14th Light Dragoons who no doubt acquired it on service with the 14th during the Peninsula War between 1808 and 1814.
Only one copy on Library Hub, at the British Library.