Peremena. Byl’ [Change. A true story]. Marietta Shaginian.

Peremena. Byl’ [Change. A true story].

1924. Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo, 1924. Octavo (18.5 × 14 cm). Original pictorial wrappers (unattributed); 234, [3] pp. Light wear to wrappers; spine extremities frayed; text evenly toned due to stock, still about very good. Owner signature dated 1925 to title page.

First edition. An early novel by the prolific Soviet writer Marietta Shaginian (1888-1982), based on her experience living in the Don region during the Russian Civil War (1918-1922). The Don region underwent several shifts of power, alternating between the Red Army and the Don Cossacks, supporting the White Czarist Troops. The novel chronicles the relationship between the peasants and the Cossacks in the countryside, as well as the workers, the “neurotic intelligentsia”, and the “sedentary bourgeois” in the cities. In an introduction to the work, Shaginian claimed that all events in the novel are “pure truth.” The novel came out in Leningrad in the same year as Shaginian’s much more famous and presumably less serous work “Mess Mend – Yankees in Petrograd,” an adventure trilogy published under the pseudonym Jim Dollar. Despite Shaginian’s more serious literary efforts in Peremena, Maxim Gorky reportedly wrote: “For her novel 'Peremena' she deserves to eat a sandwich with English pins.” Mess Mend by contrast was made into a tremendously popular film in 1926 by Boris Barnet. Front wrapper illustrated with a striking rendering of the overthrow of Tsarist Russia by the Reds (unattributed). Book ID: P6488

Price: $150.00