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“The One Great Heart Which Beats For The Concerns And

Misfortunes Of The World”: First Edition In English Of

One Day

In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich,

Signed By Solzhenitsyn

20. SOLZHENITSYN, Alexander.

One Day in the Life of IvanDenisovich.

New York, 1963. Octavo, original gray cloth, dust jacket.

$12,000.

First edition in English of the Nobel Prize-winner’s first published work,

signed on the half title by Solzhenitsyn in Cyrillic, along with an inscrip-

tion in English in an unidentified hand, “For the Collins Family.”

The

book was published in the Soviet Union, but then effectively banned

when de-Stalinization got out of control and Solzhenitsyn was branded

an enemy of the state.

“The speech denouncing Stalin at the 22nd Communist Party

Congress in 1961 emboldened Solzhenitsyn to submit

One Day

for

publication to… the Moscow literary journal

Novyi Mir.

Premier

Nikita Khrushchev piloted a special resolution through the Central

Committee authorizing its publication; it appeared in November 1962,

and Solzhenitsyn found himself catapulted to literary fame by his first

published work, not only for its intrinsic merits but for the very fact

that the government was allowing fictional treatment of a formerly

forbidden topic, life in Stalin’s forced-labor camps” (Terras,

Handbook

of Russian Literature,

437). The novel was based on Solzhenitsyn’s

eight-year incarceration in a Kazakhstan labor camp. This, the first

English translation, was faithful to the Russian original and necessarily

included the “deliberately muted themes” resultant from Solzhenitsyn’s

self-censorship required for publication in the Soviet Union in 1962.

Translated by Ralph Parker. About-fine.

“Rejoice that you are in prison.

Here you can think of your soul.”

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