New York: Phaedra Publishers, (1967). First Edition. Hardcover. First edition in Russian, octavo size, 312 pp., in Russian. Near fine / near fine. Item #18112501
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1899-1977) achieved both notoriety and fame upon the publication of "Lolita", a novel whose main character becomes obsessed with a twelve-year-old girl; upon becoming her step-father, he becomes sexually active with her. Often mistakenly thought of as an "erotic" novel, it quickly became recognized as a truly literary novel.
The true first edition of "Lolita" was published in France by Olympia Press in 1955, in the English language. Nabokov himself decided to translate it into his mother tongue; as set forth by Wiki, "On translating Lolita, Nabokov writes, 'I imagined that in some distant future somebody might produce a Russian version of Lolita. I trained my inner telescope upon that particular point in the distant future and I saw that every paragraph, pock-marked as it is with pitfalls, could lend itself to hideous mistranslation. In the hands of a harmful drudge, the Russian version of Lolita would be entirely degraded and botched by vulgar paraphrases or blunders. So I decided to translate it myself.' "
This, the first edition to appear in the U.S. Russian, contains an afterword, "On a Book Entitled 'Lolita'". In it Nabokov gives some account of his inspiration for the story, and also bemoans having to write in English, instead of in his "beloved first language. . . .my untrammeled, rich, and infiinitely docile Russian language".
___DESCRIPTION: Full pink cloth, gilt lettering on the spine; octavo size (8.5" by 5.75"), pagination: [i-viii] 1-304. Please note the text is in Russian. In a black and cream paper dust jacket with title in rainbow colours on the front panel, green lettering on the spine, a black-and-white photograph of Nabokov on the rear panel, and a description of the book on the front and rear flaps; the dust jacket is unclipped with the original price of $7.95 on the front flap.
___CONDITION: Volume is near fine, with clean boards, straight corners, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; some very minor soiling to the rear board, slight rubbing to the bottom corners, and very slight foxing to the top and fore-edges of the text block, else fine. The dust jacket is near fine, unclipped, clean overall with minor soiling, slight edge wear to the top edge and to the edges of the spine, a small closed tear (half inch) at the top of the front panel, and a small chip (the piece present but detached) to the fold of the front flap.
___CITATION: From the website of the Vladimir Nabokov bibliography; this volume is the first Russian edition, state B (note that state A is the paper-bound edition which preceded the edition in boards).
___POSTAGE: International customers, please note that additional postage may apply as the standard does not always cover costs; please inquire for details.
___Swan's Fine Books is pleased to be a member of the ABAA, ILAB, and IOBA and we stand behind every book we sell. Please contact us with any questions you may have, we are here to help.