"The strangest prose-poet Russia ever produced": First New Directions Edition of Nabokov's Nikolai Gogol; Inscribed by Him with an early Drawing of a Butterfly

  • Nikolai Gogol.
  • Nikolai Gogol.
  • Nikolai Gogol.
  • Nikolai Gogol.
  • Nikolai Gogol.

Nikolai Gogol.

$11,000.00

Item Number: 102948

Norfolk, Connecticut: New Directions Books, 1944.

First edition of Nabokov’s criticism of the work of Russian literary master Nikolai Gogol. Octavo, original cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author in Russian on the front free endpaper with a drawing of a butterfly, in Russian in the year of publication, “To Leon Dinkin with congenial salutation Vladimir Nabokov Sep XI 1944.” The recipient, Dr. Leon Dinkin, had a following among European refugees of the Nazi era and became known in NY circles at the “Refugee Doctor.  After graduation from Heidelberg University, he established a practice in Berlin, but left for  France in 1933 when Hitler came to power.   In the archive of letters of Dr. Leon Dinkin (Letters, folder 42) the Nabokov’s consulted him about their son’s health in 1944 (a stomachache of uncertain origin). The “exploratory laparotomy” (incision into the abdomen) was suggested but Dinkin was resolutely against it and offered to bring Dmitri to New York for further observation under his control. Near fine in a very good price-clipped dust jacket with some rubbing to the extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A very rare Nabokov inscription in Russian, especially unusual in a pre-revolutionary alphabet that was cancelled by the Bolsheviks in the 1920s.

One of the preeminent figures of the natural school of Russian literary realism, Nikolai Gogol produced a prolific body of work throughout the mid 19th century. His early works, such as Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, were influenced by his Ukrainian upbringing while his later writings satirised political corruption in the Russian Empire.

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