WHITMAN, Walt.
WALT WHITMAN
WHITMAN, Walt. Vechnost’ i dusha. [In:] Niva. Ezhemesiachnyia literaturnyia i populiarno-nauchnyia prilozheniia [The Cornfield. Monthly supplements of literature and popular science] … No. 1. Ianvar’ 1907.
S.-Peterburg. Izdanie A. F. Marksa.  
8vo (232 × 164 mm), cols. 160; printed in double columns; a little light foxing in places; uncut in the original printed wrappers, spine sunned.
First appearance of Chukovsky’s verse paraphrase of ‘Song of the Open Road’, printed here as ‘Eternity and the soul’ at the foot of columns 61–2 in Niva’s literary supplement. In the 1923 edition of his translation of Leaves of Grass, Chukovsky wrote: ‘When I began to propagandize for Walt Whitman in Russia one of the newspapers wrote that such a poet did not exist and that I had simply made him up. The article ran: “Chukovsky invented Walt Whitman.” His name was known only to a small circle of readers, mainly Aesthetes and Symbolists. The form of his poems appeared so careless and awkward that to begin with no journal would print my translations. In order to drag Whitman’s verse into print, I had to resort to crime: sprucing up the poems and sometimes making them rhyme. A couple of these criminal translations can be found in old issues of Niva. ‘The censor did not encourage my passion for Whitman. When I published a free translation of Pioneers in one of the satirical journals in 1905 I was taken to court under article 129. My little book of translations from Whitman (published by Sytin [in 1914]) was seized and destroyed by decree of the Moscow appellate court …’ (my translation).
Libman 6002.
£600   
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