"LIGHT OF MY LIFE, FIRE OF MY LOINS": FIRST EDITION OF LOLITA, 1955
NABOKOV, Vladimir. Lolita. Paris: The Olympia Press, (1955). Two volumes. Small octavo, original green paper wrappers. $9600.
First edition, first issue, of one of the most famous and controversial novels of the 20th century.
"Brilliant… One of the funniest and one of the saddest books that will be published this year" (New York Times). The saga of Lolita began well before its publication in 1955. A number of American publishers rejected it for fear of negative repercussions if they published such a "pornographic" work. When the Olympia Press in Paris finally issued the book, its first edition sold out quickly in Europe. It was not as warmly received abroad: The British government pressured the French to ban the novel, and no American edition saw print until 1958. First issue, with the price of "Francs: 900" on the rear wrappers (brisk sales spurred the publisher to raise the price later to 1200 francs) and no evidence of an overlaid sticker. Field 0793. Juliar 428.1.1.
Very light rubbing to extremities of wrappers. A lovely copy in near-fine condition.