BULGAKOV, Mikhail.

Dyavoliada. Rasskazy (Devildom: Short Stories).

Moscow: Nedra, 1925 Stock Code: 131768
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The author's first book - banned in 1929

First edition, first impression, of Bulgakov's first book and the only one printed in the Soviet Union in his lifetime. As well as "Devildom", the stories include "The Fatal Eggs", "13. The house of Elpit Pabkomunna", "Chinese story" and "Chichikov's adventures" (a satire on Gogol's Dead Souls, where the characters from the original novel are placed in the new Soviet reality).

The reception of this collection of short stories was ice-cold, though Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937, the author of 1921 dystopian novel We, who later befriended Bulgakov) praised the author's "true instinct in choosing a compositional setting: fiction, rooted in life, fast as in a movie... from the author, apparently, you can expect good work". Most critics' reviews called for Bulgakov's book to be banned, and according to some sources, copies of Dyavoliada were confiscated (Bulgakov, M.A. Sobranie Sochineniy. vol2. M., 1989. p. 663). In 1929, Glavpolitprosvet (the main censorship organ of Soviet Russia) included this book in the list of banned titles, and no further books by Bulgakov were printed in the Soviet Union during his lifetime.

Though 5,000 copies were printed, this remarkable debut is now very scarce in the trade. We can trace none in auction records and have only ever handled one other (rebound in a plain cloth binding to disguise it).

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Octavo. Original wrappers printed in black and red. Housed in a black flat-back cloth box lettered in red by the Chelsea Bindery.


Rebacked with part of the lettering on title of front wrapper supplied in facsimile, restoration to extremities of wrappers, occasional restoration to page edges, ownership inscription to wrapper and title page and a few ink annotations to the text, some marks within, restoration notwithstanding still a nice copy of a rare and fragile book in its original wrappers.


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