8vo, pp. 101, ; light browning throughout; in the original stiff paper wrappers with a portrait of Babel by Natan Al’tman, dustjacket in white, black and green reproducing the portrait (some edge-wear).
US $312 €279
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Stat’i i materialy [Articles and materials].
First edition, from the ‘Academia’ series ‘Masters of Contemporary Literature’, including an autobiographical sketch by Babel, and three biographical or critical essays by Nikolai Stepanov, P. I. Novitsky and G. A. Gukovsky, plus a list of Babel’s works. Other writers in the series included Zoshchenko, Pil’niak and Shklovsky.
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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).
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V Amerike. Ocherki [In America. Sketches].
Second edition (first, 1906): Gorky’s impressions of America after his visit there in 1906 to collect funds for the Party.