Saint Petersburg: Ory, 1907. 96,  pp. 13,5x10 cm. In original two-color printed wrappers with publisher’s vignette (doubled on t.p.) designed by Mstislav Dobuzhinsky. Near fine.
Second edition printed the same year. Rare.
First Russian novel that openly discussed lesbianism. It was created by female poet and writer Lydia Zinovieva-Annibal (1866-1907) who was close enough to Narodniks, she was full of revolutionary ideas. Together with her second spouse, poet Vyacheslav Ivanov, she hosted symbolist meetings (‘On the Tower’, called because the meetings were held on the tower) and sponsored their small-run publishing house ‘Ory’ printing symbolist works.
The novel was written in late 1906, but the censorship saw “the signs of a crime” (promotion of depriving behavior) and decided to forbid the book. The print run was arrested for a few months. By this time, the first Russian gay novel had already printed. Kuzmin’s ‘Wings’ (1906) filled up the whole issue of ‘Vesy’. The main periodicals of symbolists were ‘Vesy’ and ‘La Toison d’or’. Zinovieva-Annibal noticed: “Yesterday I wrote a story ‘Thirty-three Abominations’. This is my torment expressed in a very strange way. It was conceived a long time ago. As I argued with ‘Vesy’ and I am in a bad relationship with ‘La Toison d’or’, there is no place to put such a story. It is awful”. The first reading of Zinovieva-Annibal’s novel was held at ‘On the Tower’ meeting and caused a scandal. Both works were discussed as examples of erotic fiction of the early 20th century and were closely connected with the aesthetics of the Silver age.
The publishing permit was received in 1907 and the work was printed as a separate edition. Due to the widespread interest of contemporaries, it was reprinted twice the same year. Its title became the cultural symbol for a long time: it was used separately, for example, as an expression of female prisoners.
No paper copies of editions located in Worldcat.