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Stikhotvoreniia 1815—1836 godov [Verse 1815—1836]. Narodnaia biblioteka No. 124.; Narodnaia biblioteka [People's library, series title], no. 124 and 140.

Moscow: Gos. Izd-vo., 1919. Octavo (18 × 13.5 cm). Original staple-stitched illustrated wrappers; 48, [1] pp. Unopened and uncut. Wrappers evenly toned; spine extremities lightly frayed. Still about very good.

An early post-revolutionary attempt at creating a “Soviet Pushkin,” this collection of poems was edited by one of the founders of Russian Symbolism, the poet and literary critic Valerii Briusov (1873–1924). Briusov was an authority on Pushkin and played an immense role in the canonization of Pushkin in the 1910s and 1920s. Prior to the Revolution, Briusov began assembling his essays into the book “Moi Pushkin” [My Pushkin], to be published in 1911, but the book only came out after his death in 1929. Briusov’s introduction to this volume provides a brief account of Pushkin’s life, focusing on the poet’s financial difficulties and persistent conflicts with the Tsarist autocracy. Briusov also provides commentary to the poems, with historical context and vocabulary clarifications. Unlike most Russian Symbolists who fled Russia after the October Revolution, Briusov remained in the country, joined the Communist Party in 1919 and became a chairperson in the All-Russian Poets Union. This publication of Pushkin is part of the Narodnaia biblioteka [People’s library] series, which published inexpensive volumes with prefaces in a simple language to make writers accessible to a broader audience. The publisher’s catalog on the rear wrapper indicates publications of Tolstoy, Chekhov, Lermontov, and Turgenev that were approved by the early Soviet government. As of January 2020, KVK and OCLC only show two copies in North America.

Book ID: P5571

Price: $225.00