"THE ONE GREAT HEART WHICH BEATS FOR THE CONCERNS AND MISFORTUNES OF THE WORLD": RARE FIRST EDITION ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH, 1963, INSCRIBED BY SOLZHENITSYN
SOLZHENITSYN, Alexander. Odin den' Ivana Denisovicha. Moscow: Sovetskii Pisatel, 1963. Small square octavo, original paper wrappers, custom cardboard chemise. $15,000.
First edition in book form of the Nobel Prize-winner's first published work, inscribed by Solzhenitsyn in Cyrillic "With respect to Tamara Pavlovna" with his signature and a date of 1969.
"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. It is the first and perhaps the best example of this Nobel laureate's belief in "the indivisibility of truth and 'the perception of world literature as the one great heart which beats for the concerns and misfortunes of our world'" (Solzhenitsyn, Nobel prize acceptance speech, 1970). First serialized in November 1962 in the journal Novyi Mir; "midway through January  a journal specializing in the republication of fiction for a mass audience, the Roman-gazeta (literally, Newspaper-novel) published A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich in 750,000 copies (there may even have been a second and third impression, according to Zhores Medvedev), and a few weeks later the publishing house Sovetsky Pisatel (Soviet Writer) brought it out in book form in an edition of 100,000 copies. Both editions immediately sold out" (Scammel, 463). This is the work's first separate publication. The work was almost immediately published around the world to great renown, ultimately adding to the backlash against it in Russia. It was denounced in a Russian literary journal in 1968, a year before Solzhenitsyn's expulsion from the Soviet Writers' Union, three before his award of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970 and six before his expulsion from the Soviet Union in 1974.
Text fine. Fragile original paper wrappers with expert restoration to spine. A rare and desirable inscribed copy of this classic work of world literature.