Paris: YMCA-Press, 1963. Octavo (27 × 21.5 cm). Original side-stapled printed wrappers; 40 pp. of mimeographed typescript to rectos and versos. A very good copy.
Scarce edition of Akhmatova’s poems, hardly encountered in commerce and containing a selection of her poems reproduced mimeographically. According to the diary of Georgii Glekin, a close friend of the poet in her final years, Akhmatova herself learned about the book’s appearance in May 1963, from Soviet writer Konstantin Paustovsky. Lidia Chukovskaya notes that this news came as a shock to Akhmatova, who was equally disturbed at not knowing which poems had been selected and at the fact that they had been published using a typewriter. But what worried her most was the suspicion that the book was her Requiem, a cycle of verse about her son’s imprisonment, which she feared would be used against her in renewed attacks by the Party. Incidentally, Requiem was published that same year, but in Munich, rather than Paris. Book ID: 50229