Skip to product information
1 of 3

Shakespeare, William

The Tragedy of Hamlet. First edition of Pasternak's translation.

The Tragedy of Hamlet. First edition of Pasternak's translation.

Regular price $1,385.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $1,385.00 USD
Sale Sold
Boris Pasternak / English literature / First edition / Illustrated books / Translations / William Shakespeare
View full details

Shakespeare, William [The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark]. Gamlet. Prints Datskii. Tragediia.

Translation by Boris Pasternak.
Covers, frontispiece and head- and tail-pieces by V. Favorsky.

Moskva, Goslitizdat, 1941.
8vo, frontispiece, 172 p., ill.

In original illustrated wrappers. Uncut.
Near very good condition, very faint stains to rear wrapper and spine. 

First book edition of "Hamlet" in Boris Pasternak's translation one of the best play's translations in Russian language.

At the end of the 1930s, Pasternak became a translator: "...not by good fortune through misprision, and if conditions were better I ought not to be translating at all" (Makaryk, McHugh. Shakespeare and the Second World War. 2012).
For the first time, a full translation of "Hamlet" was published in "Molodaia Gvardiia" magazine (# 5-6, 1940). However, Pasternak mostly changed text by order of the publishing house for the book edition. There are about twelve variants of translation. They vary from one edition to another.
The book was designed by Vladimir Favorsky (1886-1964), a key figure in the Russian graphic art and book design of the XXth century. He studied in Muenchen at Simon Hollosy's school. Later he taught in VKhUTEMAS and became a woodcut master.
A literary critic and Shakespearean scholar Mikhail Morozov (1897–1952) prepared a short afterword for this book. It includes the bibliographical review of "Hamlet"'s translation in Russian. Morozov headed the cabinet of Shakespeare and Western European theater at the All-Russian Theatrical Society.

Zakharenko, 1995. # 112.

OCLC locates only one copy of this edition: in the University of Cambridge Library.

Contact form