New York: Phaedra Publishers, 1967. 1st Edition in Russian. Octavo, publisher's color-printed stiff paper wraps.
" ." First edition in Russian of the master's infamous novel, a lyrical pedophiliac road noir that charts the dark underbelly of the American postwar boom. Despite a respectable CV of published work and a prestigious professorship at Cornell, Nabokov worked in relative obscurity until Lolita's publication in 1955 by Parisian emigré Olympia Press, whereupon it was championed by Graham Greene and subsequently met with sales-boosting controversy. Nabokov composed the novel in English, as he did all of his books from the 1940s onward. He returned to the novel – whose success he was somewhat diffident about, given the controversy it generated – to translate it into Russian himself, considering that "every paragraph, pockmarked as it is with pitfalls, could lend itself to hideous mistranslation. In the hands of a harmful drudge, the Russian version of Lolita would be entirely degraded and botched by vulgar paraphrases or blunders" (from a 1964 interview with Playboy). Stated first edition to copyright page, with "August 1967." With an afterword about the translation by Nabokov, and endnotes. Text in Russian. Published simultaneously in hardcover and paperback. Inkstamps of the New Kuban Education & Welfare Association, a non-profit benefiting the Cossack community of Atlantic City, NJ, to title-page and inside of upper wrap. Some soiling to gutters at dedication leaf and pp.22-23. Spine lightly spoiled, vertical crease to upper wrap, toning bottom edge of wraps. Very good overall. Item #2378