Leningrad: Mysl’, . Item #1336
280 pp. 17,7x13 cm. In original publisher’s illustrated wrappers. Worn, occasional staining of the front cover. Contemporary owner’s inscription on the title page Otherwise good.
Scarce. First edition. 1 of 5,000 copies. Translated from original English by Vladimir Stelletskiy (1905-1985), a noted Soviet philologist, researcher, and translator of Slovo o polku Igoreve [i.e. The Tale of Igor’s Campaign] (1944).
First Russian translation of Theodore Dreiser’s collection of short stories Colors of a Great City.
The original publication came out in 1923 in New York and was translated into Russian 4 years later. Dedicated to New York, the book contains 34 short stories unfolding Dreiser’s early memories of the city. The Russian translation of the book appeared at the height of warm ties between the USSR and the author. In 1927, Theodore visited the Soviet Union as a token of celebration of the 10th anniversary of October Revolution. The author met the avant-garde figures Mayakovsky, Stanislavsky, Meyerhold, Eisenstein and observed life in the socialist country. Dreiser granted Gosizdat the exclusive and unlimited rights to publish and distribute his existing and future works. As a result, in the
middle 1930s, the American writer turned into one of the most reliable “friends of the USSR”. Throughout the Soviet period, his works had 150 editions in 15 Soviet languages with a total print run of over 12 million copies.
The back cover of the edition features an ad of the publishing house Mysl’. In the text, the authors distinguish Dreiser as one of the greatest American writers and praise him for “a sober, and for the most part, negative attitude towards American reality” . The publishing house also reveals its intention to issue a collection of Dreiser’s works during
the course of 1927. The same year, Soviet readers got the chance to acquaint themselves with the following works by the American author: Sister Carrie (Leningrad: Mysl’, 1927), Free and Other Stories (Leningrad: Mysl’, 1927), Jennie Gerhardt (Leningrad: Mysl’, 1927).
No copies found in Worldcat.