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Zamyatin, Yevgeny

The Flea. Rare first edition.

The Flea. Rare first edition.

Regular price $570.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $570.00 USD
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Illustrated covers / Russian literature
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Zamyatin, Yevgeny [The Flea: Play in 4 acts]. Blokha: Igra v 4 deystviiakh.

Cover design by V. Izenberg.

Leningrad-Moskva, Mysl, 1926.
8vo, 98 pp.

In original pictorial wrappers.
In good condition, overall wear to wrappers, professionally restored along spine, light water-staining to lower cover and some pages margins.

First edition. One of 3 000 copies published.

Yevgeny Zamyatin (1884-1937), renowned for his influential dystopian science fiction novel 'We', adapted Nikolai Leskov’s 'Levsha' (1881; 'The Left-Handed Craftsman') into this play. It recounts the folk tale of a left-handed arms craftsman from Tula, historically a hub of the Russian armaments industry, who surpasses his English counterparts by crafting a clockwork steel flea adorned with horseshoes and inscriptions.
'The Flea' was commissioned by the Second Moscow Art Theater in 1924 and was styled akin to a fairground performance. Its premiere took place in 1925, followed by a staging at the Bolshoi Drama Theater in Leningrad the next year. Zamyatin rewrote the play twice: first for the Leningrad production and again in 1929 for inclusion in his collection of works. In 1931, Zamyatin emigrated and settled in Paris.

Wolfgang Kasack, p. 149.

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