Kyiv: Syayvo, 1928. Item #1564
68 pp.11.3x17.8 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Loss of the pieces of the spine, occasional light stains on the front wrapper. Otherwise in a very good condition.
Scarce. First edition. Translated from English. Original version published in 1912.
First Ukrainian translation of Jack London’s novel The Scarlet Plague with a remarkable avant-garde wrapper design.
The Ukrainian readers became first acquainted with Jack London’s works in 1913, when the magazine Visnyk kul’tury i zhyttya [i.e. Herald of Culture and Life] printed the translation of London’s Batar [i.e. Batard] by the writer and political activist Ivan Steshenko (1873-1918). After 1917, the Ukrainian press witnessed the publication of London’s multiple writings, the number of which reached its peak by the late-1920s. During 1927-1932, the publishing house Syayvo [i.e. A Word] issued a twenty-seven brochure-size volume collection of Jack London’s works. The publication was prepared by the translators M. Ryabova, M. Gray, O. Burhardt, I. Rylsky, D. Lysychenko, etc. Importantly, Jack London became the first foreign writer whose works were published in the USSR in a multi-volume collection. The appearance of the complete collection was preceded by separate editions of London’s stories that turned the American writer into one of the most widely-read foreign literary figures in Ukraine.
Printed in the publishing house Syayvo in 1928, this is the first separate edition of the first Ukrainian translation of London’s Bahryana chuma [i.e. The Scarlet Plague] by the writer, translator, and publisher Dmitro Lysychenko (1887-1930).
After graduating from pedagogical courses in the early-1900s, Lysychenko became involved in political activity and illegal work of the Ukrainian Social Democratic Workers’ Party (USDRP or USDWP). In 1913, the twenty-six-year-old Lysychenko opened the bookstore Slovo [i.e. Word], which aside from books distributed posters propagating USDRP. Lysychenko was arrested on December 3, 1915, and kept in prison until the February Revolution of 1917. After his release, Lysychenko organized a publishing house with the same name as the bookstore that he found sealed. Having printed over 23 titles, Slovo ceased to exist in 1920 when the strengthened Soviet government nationalized all publishing houses in the city. In the early-1920s, Dmitro moved to Kyiv and became actively engaged in the literary circles. Lysychenko mainly went down in the history of Ukrainian literature as a translator (from French and English), who acquainted Ukrainian society with the works of Jack London: the Sea Wolf in 1927; Lost Face in 1927; the Scarlet Plague in 1928; Martin Eden in 1930; etc. Accused of distributing illegal literature, Lysychenko was arrested in 1930 and sent to a concentration camp, where he allegedly died the same year.
Overall, an important book by the leading Ukrainian translator of Jack London.
No copies found in Worldcat.