Ulialaevshchina: epopeia [The Ulialaev uprising: an epic].

Moscow, Gosizdat “Khudozhestvennaia literatura”, 1935.

Small 8vo, pp. 128; a very good copy in the original printed paper boards designed by L. Litvak, bookseller’s stamp to back paste-down.


US $129€118

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Fourth edition (first, 1927) of Sel’vinskii’s first and most successful verse epic. Ulialaevshchina describes the fortunes of a kulak, Ulialaev, ‘who seized an estate from its pre-Revolutionary owner and was later defeated in an anarchist rebellion by the Red Army. Selvinsky’s depictions are folkloric. The hero’s wife, first taken from the landowner, is brutally murdered, her corpse dragged by a horse, and her head impaled on a spear by the Red commander. Ulialaev himself is shot and decapitated. In the 1950s this tale had to be rewritten, and its hero became Lenin’ (Bristol, A History of Russian Poetry (1991), p. 255).

Hellyer 467; Russian Modernism 699; Tarasenkov, p. 336.

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