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Nabokov, Vladimir

Korol’, Dama, Valet’ / King, Queen, Knave



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A first-edition copy of Nabokov's second novel, Korol’, Dama, Valet’ (King, Queen, Knave).

  • Vladimir Nabokov (Russian).
  • Berlin: Slovo, 1928.
  • 259 pages.
  • Small octavo.
  • Original grey wrappers printed in blue and red.

Nabokov declared in the foreword of the 1967 English translation of King, Queen, Knave, "of all my novels this bright brute is the gayest. Expatriation, destitution, nostalgia had no effect on its elaborate and rapturous composition." The novel is set in Berlin and is centered around the love triangle of a young German man Franz, his uncle Dreyer and Dreyer's wife Martha.

The author would later study his American compatriots in detail, but it was not the case for his representation of German characters in his writing. Despite having lived in Berlin for a number of years, he "spoke no German, had no German friends, had not read a single German novel either in the original or in the translation." However, he believed that "in art, as in nature, a glaring disadvantage may turn out to be a subtle protective device."

Condition Report

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Like New

Ink ownership inscription to upper flyleaf.

Slight age toning.

Spine toned.

Some slight wear.


Height: 8.07 inches / 20.5 cm
Width: 5.71 inches / 14.5 cm


First Edition




Modern first editions, Novels

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