Spisok blagodeianii … [List of blessings].

Moscow, “Federatsiia”, 1931.

Small 8vo, pp. 95, [1]; some browning, a few light stains; private ownership stamp to title and title verso; later cloth binding, the original printed front wrapper by B. V. Titov bound in.

£200

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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).

Getty 608.

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