"Best Russian Short Stories" Variants

Gordon Neavill aa3401 at wayne.edu
Sun Apr 22 16:15:02 EDT 2001

Here's a summary of the information I have in my ML bibliography:

Best Russian Short Stories (261 p.) was published in July 1917 and went
through what I call five "families" of printings: (1) first printing ;  (2)
preliminaries reordered with table of contents placed before introduction,
(3) B&L imprint without "Inc.";  (4) tp with monk device, (5) ML, Inc. tp.

In January 1932 Cerf told booksellers that new plates for Andreyev's Seven
That Were Hanged had been ordered.  I assume this was when Bunin's Gentleman
from San Francisco was added, but I've never seen a separate printing of the
book that includes the Bunin story.  Seven That Were Hanged was dropped as a
separate ML volume in 1933.  The fall 1934 printing of Best Russian Short
Stories expanded the volume, adding Andreyev's Seven That Were Hanged,
including The Red Laugh and the newly added Bunin story.  This made the
pagination 261, 231.  There was no 1st statement to indicate the addition.
These plates were used through the early 1940s.  The ML combined several
titles in the early 1930s to make them more appealing to prospective buyers
during the Depression.  There's at least one printing with the 261, 231
pagination in a Blumenthal binding (my copy has a fall 1942 list and dj).

The book was entirely reset by 1945.  Here there's a single sequence of
pagination: 556 p.  I don't know for sure that the new typesetting was done
in 1945; the ML reset several out-of-stock titles during the war with the
intention of using the new plates after the war when paper rationing ceased.
The first printing that I've seen from the new plates has a fall 1945 dj.

The 556 p. version remained in print until 1971/72.  There's at least one
printing from around 1969/70 in the larger format with the Fujita
torchbearer on the tp.

Hope this helps!


----- Original Message -----
From: j b krygier <jbkrygie at cc.owu.edu>
To: <modlib at algol.owu.edu>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2001 3:20 PM
Subject: Re: "Best Russian Short Stories" Variants

> Hi ModLib folks,
> Regarding the variants of "Best Russian Short Stories" (18.1
> in Toledano's Guide) - it would be great to pin down data on
> the three variants of this title that seem to exist  - particularly the
> dates of the different versions (these variants are not included in
> the latest version of Toledano's Guide but I am sure Henry will
> include them in the next edition!).
> This is what we know so far:
> BooksetcSF at aol.com wrote:
> > I was aware of this, but did not have enough information to correct
> > it. It
> > should read something like this
> > 18.1 date should be 1917-1925
> This is the first variation of "Best Russian Short Stories" (BRSS)
> with 19 stories and 261 pages.  Last story is "The Outrage" by
> Kuprin.  Intro by Seltzer.
> In 1925 Andreyev's "Seven that were Hanged" (with the short
> story "The Red Laugh") (ML 45.1) was discontinued.
> > 18.2 date should be 1925-?  Combines 18.1 with 45.1 with pagination
> > unchanged
> This is the second variant of BRSS - goes to p. 261 then starts
> over at p. 1 ("The Seven that were Hanged" followed by "The
> Red Laugh" and Bunin's "Gentleman from SF") and runs thru
> to p. 231.  22 stories in all (same intro by Seltzer)
> Was Andreyev's "Seven that were Hanged" (ML 45.1) added
> to "Best Russian Short Stories" in 1925?
> Does any one have a copy of "Best Russian Short Stories"
> from this era w/ or w/o the additional 3 stories?
> Is there a "First Modern Library Ed" of "Best Russian Short
> Stores" when Andreyev was added?
> Help!
> Again - I have a binding 8 copy (DJ lists 274 titles - 1941) that
> follows this pagination - but I am assuming the expanded BRSS
> came much earlier.  I am curious how long the binding 8 with
> this pagination lasted...
> > 18.3  date should be  ? - 1970  18.2 with pagination running 3 thru
> > 556
> All the pages are reset in this edition with consistent type
> and pagination.  Scot Kamins has a DJ  w/372 titles (1955)
> so the revision took place sometime between 1941 and 1955.
> Anyone have a copy of BRSS from between these two dates?
> Help again!
> Thanks for any data you can supply on this ML title!
> John K.
> --
> j   b   k r y g i e r
> a s s i s t a n t  p r o f e s s o r  o f  g e o g r a p h y
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