Arkadii & Boris Strugatskii

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(2042) Strugatskii, Arkadii; Strugatskii, Boris. “Skazka o Troïke”  (Tale of the troika).

Original looseleaf typescript, 2nd copy on onion-skin paper. 149 pages. 29,5cm x 21cm. 1 page of corrections, 1 page afterword by the copyist dated 22 November 1967. In a cardboard sleeve with original blue ribbon. (Golitsyno – Leningrad, mars-jai 1967).

Personally typed by Mikhail Lemkhin (see his name in the top corner of photo #1), as he writes in the included afterword. Lemkhin knew Boris Strugatskii well during this period and we owe several photographs of the author to him. Since 1983 Lemkhin lives in the USA where he became a reknowned photographer. According to Lemkhin this text constitutes an uncorrected (and thus uncensored) version of the novella.
Originally this satiric science-fiction novella was to be published in the editions “Detskaia Literatura” and “Molodaia Gvardiia” but in a last-minute decision both publishers refused to print it. There are in existence two variant copies of the text, the ‘long’ version from the journal “Smena” and the ‘abridged’ version from the Almanach “Angara”. Severe criticism followed publication denouncing the work as profoundly anti-Soviet and as a result the chief editor of “Angara” was dismissed. As of that moment “Angara” became itself an illegal text and promptly confiscated. Abroad the novella was published in the journal ‘Posev’ in Frankfurt.

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(3197) Strugatskii, Arkadii (1925-1991); Strugatskii, Boris (1933-2012). “Gadkiye Lebedi” Fantasticheskaia povest’. Leningrad-Moskva sentiabr’ 1967 – sentiabr’ 1968 (indicated at the end of the text).

Original typescript.In 12 chapters. 270 pages. 20,5cm x 13,5cm. Amateur morocco binding with the authors’ name and title handwritten in gold. This samizdat dated 1976.

Short story written in 1966-67 but prohibited at the time . The first edition in Russian appeared in 1972 in Frankfurt. An abridged version appeared in the review “Daugava”. under the title “Vremia Dozhdia” and is certainly the most anti-Stalinist of works by the Strugatskii brothers. The titular “Ugly Swans” are a fairly direct statement to the affluent elite of the Soviet nomenklatura.

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(4040) Strugatskii, Arkadii; Strugatskii, Boris. “Zhuk v Muraveinike” (Beetle in the Anthill).

Science Fiction novel first published in the USSR in 1986. Written and published for the first time abroad in 1979.

Our samizdat is a copy by computerised printer taken from the edition of 1979. (Nostalgi’ia : Fidzhi). 120 pages on machine ERA01. Uncut. 30,5cm x 21cm. Stapled cardboard binding. Samizdat dated 1981-82.

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(4043) Strugatskii, Arkadii; Strugatskii Boris. “Piknik na Obochine” (“Roadside Picnic”). Village of Komarovo February-November 1971.

This samizdat is a copy on computerised printer printed in 1982 (the Andropov era during which access to the machines were strictly regulated). 98 pages + 144 pages + 99 pages (341). 31cm. Laminated salmon-pink hardbound boards. Colour photograph to the front board with three titles painted by hand.

Fantasy novel published for the first time in 1972 (separate edition only published in 1980) and the most translated and republished of works by the Strugatskii brothers. The serialised publications published between 1972 and 1980 were only fragments of the novel.

“Trudno Byt’ Bogom” (“Hard to be a God”).
Science-fiction novel. Written in 1963 and published for the first time in 1964 in the review “Daliokaia Raduga”. In 1989 Arkadii Strugatskii wrote “Bez oruzhiia” (Without Weapons) based on this novel.

“Daliokaia Raduga” (Far Rainbow),
the first draft of this novel dates from November-December 1962. For more than six months the Strugatskii’s reworked the text until it reached it’s definitive form and published in 1964.

These three texts, like a large number of other texts of this period would be systematically withdrawn from open sale, confiscated or definitively prohibited between the end of 1965 (after the ousting of Khrushchev) and Glasnost (1986-1991) which explains that, in spite of their large success, they were not republished during this period. “Roadside Picnic” suffered from its very first appearance several trips across the censor’s desk which resulted in the mutilation of the text.

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