Emali i kamei [Émaux et camées].

[St Petersburg, M. V. Popov, 1914.]

8vo, pp. 246, [5] contents, [1] blank + 8 pp. advertisements; Russian ink ownership inscription to half-title; fingermarks to pp. 99 and 161, else bright and clean; half cloth, with the original front wrapper (by A. Arnshtam) bound in.


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Emali i kamei [Émaux et camées].

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First edition, very rare: Gumilev’s first published volume of translation, and Gautier’s first appearance in Russian. This is the only contemporary edition; it first received a reprint (in a bilingual edition) some 75 years later.

Gautier’s Émaux et camées was originally published in 1852, and added to in subsequent editions. They were perfect models for Gumilev in helping form his ideas of Acmeism, the poetic movement he was instrumental in founding in 1912. In his challenging article, ‘Acmeism and the heritage of symbolism’, published in January that year, he had called for ‘an exact notion of the relation between the subject and the object. If the unknown is not cognizable, it is futile to make guesses; poetry can do much better with man and his body, his joys, and his sorrows. Shakespeare knew the inner life of man; Rabelais, the flesh and its delights; Villon, God and vice, while Gautier gave this world the cloak of faultless form.’

OCLC locates copies at Cambridge, Harvard and Wisconsin only. Kilgour 422; Tarasenkov p. 116.

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