London, South Kensington
7 June 2010
NABOKOV, Vladimir Vladimirovich (1899-1977). Zashchita Luzhina. Roman. [The Luzhin Defence. A Novel.] Berlin: Slovo, 1930. 8° (215 x 140mm). Original black wrappers with yapp edges, sides and spine printed in gold (edges heavily chipped, spine repaired with tape, covers detached). Provenance: Vladimir Nabokov (gift inscription to:) -- Anna Feigin -- Vladimir Nabokov (book label) -- by descent to the consignor.
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR to Anna Feigin, in Russian: 'To dear, beloved Aniut, from the author, IX 1930, Berlin'. Anna Feigin was Vera's cousin and lived with the Nabokovs for extended periods. In the foreword to his 1964 English translation, Nabokov wrote 'of all my Russian books, The Defense contains and diffuses the greatest "warmth", which may seem odd seeing how supremely abstract chess is supposed to be'. Nabokov, a keen player, found inspiration for Luzhin in the German master Curt von Bardeleben, whom Nabokov knew personally. Rare.
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