‘ONE OF THE FIRST MAJOR NOVELS IN SOVIET LITERATURE’

Goroda i gody. Roman [Cities and years. A novel].

Leningrad, Gosudarstvennoe Izdatel’stvo, 1924.

8vo, pp. 384, [3]; lightly browned, a few spots and stains, tear to one leaf repaired without loss; generally a good copy in contemporary quarter sheep, gilt decoration to spine, rubbed and worn.

£1200

Approximately:
US $1520€1405

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First edition of Fedin’s autobiographical first novel, Cities and Years, an intense exploration of war and its aftermath, and the role of the intelligentsia in the inevitable revolution looming over society. The cities of the title are Berlin and Moscow, and the years those of the First World War and the Russian Revolution. ‘His first novel Cities and years (Goroda i gody, 1924), one of the first major novels in Soviet literature, embodied Fedin’s quest for a new literary statement. Its displaced chronological sequences bring “time out of joint,” accentuating a sense of turmoil. Different kinds of speech and genres, telescoped together, also contribute to its dramatic effect’ (Terras).

In his capacity as First Secretary of the Union of Soviet Writers in the 1960s, Fedin prevented the publication of Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward, for which he was accused of being ‘a writer who puts the noose around the neck of another writer’.

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