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Despair. by  Vladimir Nabokov - First Edition - 1966 - from Raptis Rare Books (SKU: 75003)

Despair.

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Despair.

by Nabokov, Vladimir

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  • hardcover
  • First
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About This Item

New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1966. First American edition of this inventive and richly derisive story of Hermann, a man who undertakes the perfect crime--his own murder. Octavo, original cloth. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a touch of rubbing. A very nice example. Despair is the seventh novel by Vladimir Nabokov, originally published in Russian, serially in the politicized literary journal Sovremennye zapiski during 1934. It was then published as a book in 1936, and translated to English by the author in 1937. It is generally acclaimed as one of Nabokov's better Russian novels, along with Invitation to a Beheading and The Gift (1938), and has a reasonable volume of literary criticism. Martin Amis ranked it second on his list of best Nabokov novels, with it trailing only Lolita.

Synopsis

Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov was born on April 23, 1899, in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Nabokovs were known for their high culture and commitment to public service, and the elder Nabokov was an outspoken opponent of antisemitism and one of the leaders of the opposition party, the Kadets. In 1919, following the Bolshevik revolution, he took his family into exile. Four years later he was shot and killed at a political rally in Berlin while trying to shield the speaker from right-wing assassins. The Nabokov household was trilingual, and as a child Nabokov was already reading Wells, Poe, Browning, Keats, Flaubert, Verlaine, Rimbaud, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, alongside the popular entertainments of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne. As a young man, he studied Slavic and romance languages at Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his honors degree in 1922. For the next eighteen years he lived in Berlin and Paris, writing prolifically in Russian under the pseudonym Sirin and supporting himself through translations, lessons in English and tennis, and by composing the first crossword puzzles in Russian. In 1925 he married Vera Slonim, with whom he had one child, a son, Dmitri. Having already fled Russia and Germany, Nabokov became a refugee once more in 1940, when he was forced to leave France for the United States. There he taught at Wellesley, Harvard, and Cornell. He also gave up writing in Russian and began composing fiction in English. In his afterword to Lolita he claimed: "My private tragedy, which cannot, and indeed should not, be anybody's concern, is that I had to abandon my natural idiom, my untrammeled, rich, and infinitely docile Russian tongue for a second-rate brand of English, devoid of any of those apparatuses--the baffling mirror, the black velvet backdrop, the implied associations and traditions--which the native illusionist, frac-tails flying, can magically use to transcend the heritage in his own way." [p. 317] Yet Nabokov's American period saw the creation of what are arguably his greatest works, Bend Sinister (1947), Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962), as well as the translation of his earlier Russian novels into English. He also undertook English translations of works by Lermontov and Pushkin and wrote several books of criticism. Vladimir Nabokov died in Montreux, Switzerland, in 1977.

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Details

book dealer
Raptis Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
75003
Title
Despair.
Author
Nabokov, Vladimir
Book condition
second hand
Binding
Hardcover
Publisher
G.P. Putnam's Sons
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
1966
Keywords
Despair First Edition

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Raptis Rare Books

Seller rating:
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Palm Beach, Florida
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About Raptis Rare Books

Founded by Matthew and Adrienne Raptis, Raptis Rare Books is an antiquarian book firm that specializes in literature, children's books, economics, photo books, signed and inscribed books, and landmark books in all fields. Our business model is simple: we strive to handle books that are in exceptional condition and to provide exceptional customer service. We are proud members of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and exhibit at major book fairs in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Boston, as well as other regional fairs.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

rubbing
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.
fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the... [more]
jacket
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps... [more]
G
Good describes the average used and worn book that has all pages or leaves present. Any defects must be noted. (as defined by AB... [more]
Cloth
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [more]
octavo
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [more]

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