Item #1547 [RUSSIAN TRANSLATION OF JACK LONDON’S “MEXICAN”] Meksikanets [i.e. The Mexican]. J. London.


Moscow; Leningrad: B. i. Detizdat, 1937. Item #1547

47 pp: ill. 13.5x19.2 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Loss of the small pieces of the spine, previous owner’s inscription on the title page (O. Japaridze. 1937-XII-15), insignificant damp stains throughout the copy. Otherwise in a very good condition.

Scarce. First edition. Original English version published in 1911. Translated from English by the Soviet poet, editor, and one of the most experienced Leningrad translators of the time Daniil Gorfinkel (1899-1966). Wrapper design and 5 black and white illustrations by the Soviet artist Nikolay Travin (1904-1942). The edition also includes 1 black and white portrait of Jack London. Edited by I. Vorobyeva.

Russian translation of “The Mexican” was first published in a weekly literary and art magazine “Siniy Jurnal” [i.e. A Blue Magazine] (1910-1918) in 1912. Since then Russian translations of the short story appeared multiple times in various periodicals. The present copy serves as the first separate edition of Jack London’s masterpiece translated from the original English language by Daniil Gorfinkel. In the autobiography published in 1952, Gorfinkel wrote: “Among English and American authors, Jack London, Theodor Dreiser, and H.G. Wells are the ones I admire the most.” Indeed, solely dedicating himself to the American novelist during the year 1937, Gorfinkel produced 12 translations of Jack London’s world-famous works, including: “The Tears of Ah Kim,” “Chun Ah Chun,” “The Banks of the Sacramento,” “An Adventure in the Upper Sea” and others.Gorfinkel’s translations from English, French, and German are up to day considered the classics of Russian literature.

Nikolay Travin was a Soviet artist noted for his illustrations of Russian translations of H. Well’s “The Invisible Man” and “The First Men in the Moon”. From the mid-1920s, Travin collaborated with various Soviet publishing houses (DETGIZ, ISOGIZ) and magazines (“Vokrug Sveta” [i.e. Around the World], “Yozh” [i.e. Hedgehog, etc.). In the 1930s, Nikolay participated in a number of expeditions to the North Pole and created a series of landscapes and panoramic images of Northern settlements.In the first months of the Great Patriotic War,Travin worked on agitational posters, drawings, and postcards. He died in besieged Leningrad on January 22, 1942,

An influential socialist of his day, Jack London was one of the few American authors with a stamp of approval to be read in the Soviet Union. In fact, London was among those few writers whose works have been published in the USSR in ten million or more copies (18.6 million copies) from 1918 until 1957. He was also the most famous foreign author in regards to the number of the titles and editions published in the Soviet Union (662 with 18,588,000 copies in 32 languages; the second was Victor Hugo with 362 editions with 13,184,000 copies in 45 languages) in the aforementioned timeframe.

No copies found in Worldcat.

Price: $250.00

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