“The One Great Heart Which Beats For The Concerns And
Misfortunes Of The World”: First Edition In English Of
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.
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.”
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
publication to… the Moscow literary journal
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,
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.”