"THE ONE GREAT HEART WHICH BEATS FOR THE CONCERNS AND MISFORTUNES OF THE WORLD": SCARCE FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH, 1963, SIGNED BY SOLZHENITSYN
SOLZHENITSYN, Alexander. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1963. Octavo, original gray cloth, original 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 inscription in English in an unidentified hand, "For the C— Family."
"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). 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. With a foreword by Alexander Tvardovsky, the editor who accepted the novel for publication in Novyi Mir. Issued simultaneously in English and American trade editions. "First Edition" stated on copyright page.
Lightest edge-wear to dust jacket. An about-fine signed copy.