“And what is death, if not a face at peace - its artistic perfection": First Edition of Vladimir Nabokov's Despair

  • Despair.



Item Number: 75003

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.

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