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O’Flaherty, Liam

Mr. Gilhooley. First and only Russian edition.

Mr. Gilhooley. First and only Russian edition.

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First edition / Firsts London 2024 / Illustrated covers / Irish literature / Translations
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O’Flaherty, Liam [Mr. Gilhooley]. Mister Gil'khuli. 

Translation by M. Kovalenskaia.
[Cover by A. Litvinenko].

[Leningrad], 'Priboi', 1927.
8vo, 241 pp., [3] 

In original pictorial wrappers.
In good condition, small tears and minor losses to spine, overall wear and soil to wrappers, stains to some pages. 

First and only Russian edition. One of the first four books by O'Flaherty in Russian. One of 6 000 copies printed.

In 1927, the Irish Communist Party's founding member, Liam O'Flaherty (1896-1984), made his literary debut in the Russian language with the publication of four books. Interestingly, it is believed that Russian was the first language into which O'Flaherty's work was translated, marking the beginning of his journey as one of the most widely translated contemporary Irish authors in the Soviet Union.
This prolific streak, however, came to an abrupt end in 1931. It is likely that the publication of O'Flaherty's book 'I Went to Russia' during the same year played a significant role in this discontinuation. The book documented his trip to the USSR in the spring and drew sharp criticism for what was perceived as justifying British imperialism. It was described as 'replete with base cynicism and deceitful assaults on the USSR'. O'Flaherty's writing style was also scrutinized for elements that seemed to align with the tendencies of the petit-bourgeois intelligentsia, leaning towards fascism.
The novel 'Mr. Gilhooley' (1926) was quickly translated after its original release by Maria Kovalenskaia (1882-1944), a female translator who happened to be the cousin of the poet and Catholic priest Sergei Solovyov and the second cousin of the poet Alexander Blok.
The book's cover design was created by Aleksander Litvinenko (1883-1932), a graphic and bookplate artist.

We couldn’t trace any copy of this edition in the USA or European libraries via OCLC.

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