Item #5590 1920 Diary. Isaac Babel, Carol J. Avins, H. T. Willetts.

1920 Diary. Edited and with an Introduction and Notes by Carol J. Avins

New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. 1st US Edition. Octavo, publisher’s white cloth, spine stamped in black, lavender endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.

First US edition of Isaac Babel’s diary, written while he was working as a journalist alongside the Cossack First Cavalry Army. Considered "the greatest prose writer of Russian Jewry," Babel was the most translated Soviet author of his generation; his condensed and precise prose style had an immense impact on the short story and autobiographical fiction of the 20th century. Hiding the fact he was Jewish from his colleagues, Babel joined the army on horseback as a journalist and propagandist during the Polish campaign of 1920. The basis for his story cycle and best known work Red Cavalry, this collection of day-to-day observations and reflections unflinchingly details the violent atrocities and brutalities he encountered during the Russo-Polish War. The entries also detail the inner conflict between his belief in socialism and his identity as a Jew, a major theme dealt with in Red Cavalry. Edited and with notes by Russian literature scholar Carol J. Avins; translated from the Russian by H.T. Willetts. Illustrated with black-and-white historic photos and maps. Originaly published in Russia in 1990. First printing, with complete number row to copyright page. Corners gently banged; light soiling to unclipped dust jacket. Near fine. Item #5590


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