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Tolstoy, Leo

The Kreutzer Sonata. Extremely rare clandestine hectograph edition.

The Kreutzer Sonata. Extremely rare clandestine hectograph edition.

Regular price $21,300.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $21,300.00 USD
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Banned books / Illustrated covers / Russian literature / Underground press
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Tolstoy, Leo [The Kreutzer Sonata]. Kreitserova Sonata.

N.p., 1890?
8vo, 196, [2], 22, [4] pp.

In owner’s hardback with part of the original front cover tipped on.
In good condition, small stains to front cover, edges bumped, owner mark to endpapers, several pages restored.

Extremely rare clandestine hectograph edition of Tolstoy's 'The Kreutzer Sonata'.

This novella marks the first exploration of marriage in Russian literature.
Following several rounds of editing by Tolstoy himself, the eighth version (completed in October 1889) was revised by his daughter Maria and sent to St. Petersburg. Tolstoy simultaneously renounced the copyright to the novella, leading to its illegal reproduction at the Posrednik publishing house overnight from October 29th to 30th, 1889. 'By Sunday, 300 lithographed copies were ready...' (Tolstoy, L. Polnoe Sobranie Sochinenii. Vol. 27. 1936). This version served as the basis for subsequent hectograph editions, including our version published in the latter half of 1890. Our copy includes 'The Afterword' (the fourth version), completed on April 6, 1890.
By December 1889, 'The Sonata' had already been officially banned in Russia, even before any typographic edition had appeared. Countess Sofia Tolstoy sought an audience with Alexander III to petition against the novella. 'The Sonata' was eventually published in the thirteenth volume of The Collected Works (1891).
These editions of Tolstoy's works served as precursors to Soviet samizdat, or underground literature.

We couldn't trace any other copy with the same pagination via OCLC. The NYPL, BL, and Harvard Library have other variants of the novella printed in the same manner.

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