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Doctor Zhivago.

Milan: Feltrinelli, [1959] Stock Code: 134123
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First Feltrinelli edition in Russian (the third overall), first printing, issued in the very attractive and distinctive dust jacket designed by Ampelio Tettamanti (1914-1961), matching that of the first edition, published in Italian by Feltrinelli in 1957.

Doctor Zhivago was deemed unfit for publication within the Soviet Union due to certain passages that were perceived as anti-Soviet. It was therefore first published in Italian by Feltrinelli in 1957 after Pasternak signed a contract with him on 30 June 1956, granting the Italian publisher the copyright for translation. This edition was published in late April or early May 1959, and is preceded by the almost unobtainable, CIA-sponsored edition (September 1958) and the US edition, published in Michigan in plain cloth without a dust jacket (January 1959).

The history of the book's publication in Russian is somewhat tangled: the first edition in Russian was printed by the Dutch publisher Mouton under Feltrinelli's imprint but without Feltrinelli's permission, as part of a covert CIA publishing and propaganda program, and the US edition was likewise intended to be published without acknowledgement of Feltrinelli's copyright. However, after the legal furore surrounding the publication of the Dutch edition, that decision was reversed, and the US edition in Russian was subsequently published with Feltrinelli's full consent and collaboration. Feltrinelli intended to publish this edition concurrently with the US publication, but due to printing delays his book was not published in Italy until four months after it appeared in the US.

The book earned Pasternak the Nobel Prize for literature. The award was offered in mid-October 1958, but before the end of the month, under intense pressure from the Soviet authorities, Pasternak was forced to reject it.

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Octavo. Original pale green boards, titles to spine and front board in black. With the dust jacket designed by Ampelio Tettamanti.


Top corner of front board worn, spotting to edges, otherwise a very nice copy, sound and smart, with only occasional minor marks to jacket and a small portion worn from the same upper fore-corner.


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