Sims Reed Rare Books×

Seti: Pervaia Kniga Stikhov. (Nets: First Book of Verse)

Al'tman, Natan. Kuzmin, Mikhail

St. Petersburg / Berlin. Petropolis. 1923
The third edition of Kuzmin's acclaimed verse collection but the first with Al'tman's Constructivist cover.

Mikhail Kuzmin studied music under Rimsky-Korsakov but turned later to literature. His first novel 'Kryl'ia' was published in 1906 and his first verse collection 'Seti' followed in 1908. 'Seti', written while Kuzmin was associated with the Russian Symbolists, achieved wide acclaim. Later Kuzmin was crucial in the development of Acmeism and helped the early career of Anna Akhmatova. A homosexual, Kuzmin was the companion of the poet Yuri Yurkun (they met in 1913), until his death from pneumonia in 1936. Two years later Yurkun and many other writers and intellectuals were arrested during one of Stalin's purges; all were shot.

A second edition of 'Seti' was issued in 1915 and the verses were also included in Kuzmin's collected works of 1916 before this third distinct edition appeared in 1923. Praised, parodied or derided, 'Seti', now considered tame or chaste, is lauded as a pioneering work of literature.
pp. 206. 8vo. (168 x 128 mm). Leaf with publisher's vignette recto, leaf with half-title recto and publication details verso, printed title and Kuzman's verse with section titles throughout, final three leaves with contents. Original publisher's printed wrappers with linocut Constructivist design in blue and red by Al'tman, spine repaired.

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