Title: The Island: A Journey To Sakhalin
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: 1967
Edition: 1st Edition.
New York. 1967. Washington Square Press. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket. Muriel Rukeyser’s signature on the top corner of the front free endpaper. Translated from the Russian by Luba and Michael Terpak. Introduction by Robert Payne. 375 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Milton Glaser. keywords: Russia Translated Literature. inventory # 2118. FROM THE PUBLISHER - Sakhalin Island in the North Pacific was the site of five principal penal colonies inhabited by thieves, murderers, political exiles, their families, and an unenlightened bureaucracy. Prisoners were condemned to hard labor, often in the coal mines, and on release were confined to the island as colonists. Treatment was often harsh; flogging was frequent. The climate was execrable: foggy, cold, and rainy in the summer, with snow the remaining eight months. Escape was often plotted, and infrequently successful. In 1890 Chekhov arrived at Sakhalin, ‘the only place left where it is possible to study colonization by criminals.’ Surprised to see prisoners and exiles walking the streets freely, he soon became accustomed to the mores of this strange land where ‘the local ladies think nothing of permitting their children to go out and play in the care of nursemaids sentenced to exile for life.’ From the experiences of this journey, Chekhov produced THE ISLAND, ‘an important historical document,’ according to D. S. Mirsky, ‘remarkable for its thoroughness, objectivity, and impartiality.’ Yet THE ISLAND is more than a work of ethnological and sociological significance—a lucid documentation of the need for penal reform throughout Russia. It is a telling and compassionate portrait of the people of Sakhalin, and a demonstration of the senselessness of brutality. Everywhere evincing the skill, the perception, and selection of the master craftsman, THE ISLAND is a mirror in which we see brilliantly illuminated the humanistic sympathies and sensitivity of Anton Chekhov. A THE RUSSIAN LIBRARY presents masterpieces of singular spiritual energy and freshly penetrating style characteristic of the renaissance of Russian literature during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The series includes the works of both the giants and their most noted contemporaries, all in new and definitive translations—prime materials for the understanding of Russia, its culture, and its people. Very Good In Dustjacket. Muriel Rukeyser’s signature on the top corner of the front free endpaper. Bookseller Inventory # 2118
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