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30/7 Petrovka str.
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Telephone +74 9572 67806
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30/7 Petrovka str.
Moscow 127006
Russia
Contact Ekaterina Kukhto
Telephone +74 9572 67806
Specialists Economics, First Editions, History, Old and Rare Books, Russia, Science, Technology, Twentieth Century, Russian Emigre Books, Politics, Art, Children's Books, Banned Books
Biblionne
Stand F14

First edition of the translation

Wilde Oscar

Ballada Redingskoy Tur'my [The Ballad of Reading Gaol], Moskva, Skorpion, 1904.

Translation by K. Balmont. Cover by M. Durnov.
12mo, [8], 49 pp., [6] pp. advertising, in publisher’s illustrated wrappers.
Near very good condition, minor crack on the spine, small loss on the back cover, owner's mark on the first page.

Note
Second Russian edition of the poem. First edition of the translation.
First Ballad's translation by N. Korn (by repute, pen-name used by Korney Chukovsky) appeared with many mistakes in 1903. The following year another version by Konstantin Balmont (1867-1942), Russian symbolist poet and translator, was published. In the summer of 1902 Balmont traveled to England and visited the town of Reading, where Wilde was imprisoned as the ballad's main character. In November 1903 Balmont also gave the report Oscar Wilde's Poetry and The Ballad... and this translation on the Literary-Artistic Circle meeting in Moscow. He compared Wilde to Nietzsche and called him 'the greatest English writer of the end of the last century'. Balmont also prepared translations of works by Edgar Allen Poe, P. B. Shelley, Walt Whitman and Robert Burns. His translations always were full of his own manner, 'Balmontic motifs'.
Cover with the portrait of Oscar Wilde was created by painter, poet, architect and Balmont's friend Modest Durnov (1867–1928). Contemporaries called him 'a demon', 'thought master' and 'Moscow Dandy'. By repute, he met Wilde during his trip to London once.
This book was in the private library of Russian artist Mikhail Tarkhanov (1888-1962), a master of endpapers and bookbinding. Tarkhanov studied at Stroganov School for Technical Drawing (which later became VKhUTEMAS) under Vladimir Favorsky and Wassily Kandinsky.

OCLC locates two copies of this edition only: in the University Library of Bern and the Rome National Central Library.
£1,400