London, South Kensington
7 June 2010
NABOKOV -- ROLLAND, Romain. Nikolka Persik. Translated from the French by Vladimir Nabokov. Berlin: Slovo, 1922. 8° (192 x 135mm). (Text evenly yellowed.) Publisher's original cloth-backed illustrated boards, sides and spine printed in blue (light wear at extremities). Provenance: 'Controle des Informations' (neat stamp on back cover) -- Vladimir Nabokov (inscription to:) -- Anna Feigin -- Vladimir Nabokov (book label) -- by descent to the consignor.
First Russian translation, INSCRIBED BY NABOKOV AS TRANSLATOR to his close friend Anna Feigin, in Russian: 'To my darling critter Anna, wandering, tender... V. Sirin. 23 XII 25. Berlin' -- the Julian calendar date of Vera's birthday, when Anna came back to the flat she once shared with her cousin. Nabokov valued Anna greatly, entrusting her in 1926 with the preparation from his notebooks of the typescript of Mary, his first novel. Nabokov undertook the translation on a bet with his father that he could scale the 'Vesuvius of words', 'puns, proverbs and jokes, flourishes and refrains, sayings and charms' of Rolland's original.
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