29 November 2007
BABEL, Isaak Emmanuilovich (1894-1940). Five works by Isaak Babel, including Konarmiia [Red Cavalry], Mariia and Bluzhdaiushchie Zvezdy [Wandering Stars]. Various places: various publishers, 1926-1935.
Various formats (143 x 111mm to 218 x 175mm). Some half-titles, lithographs. (Light browning, some wear, a few leaves coming loose.) Publisher's original illustrated wrappers and boards and one in contemporary grey cloth (edges fraying, extremities rubbed). Provenance: various twentieth-century stamps -- one owner's signature.
FIRST EDITION of the film script Bluzhdaiushchie Zvezdy which Babel was commissioned to write by Goskino, based on the Yiddish novel of the same title by Sholom Aleichem. The first edition of Mastera Sovremennoi Literatury [Masters of Contemporary Literature], focusing on Babel and included in this lot, features a short autobiography in which Babel notes his debt to Gor'kii. The cover portrait of Babel is by Natan Al'tman. Babel enjoyed the reputation of a Master only briefly; in the next decade he committed himself to the 'genre of silence' as persecution by the new regime grew.
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