new acquisitions



I purchased them yesterday at the Russian bookstore in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn.

Beautiful books. Though the dress of the characters depicted in the cover art does not look realistic given the social classes and time period Dreiser was writing about — in America.


Sister Carrie, translated by Mark Volosov





When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a scrap of paper with her sister’s address in Van Buren Street, and four dollars in money.

It was in August, 1889. She was eighteen years of age, bright, timid, and full of the illusions of ignorance and youth. Whatever touch of regret at parting characterized her thoughts, it was certainly not for advantages now being given up. A gush of tears at her mother’s farewell kiss, a touch in her throat when the cars clacked by the flour mill where her father worked by the day, a pathetic sigh as the familiar green environs of the village passed in review, and the threads which bound her so lightly to girlhood and home were irretrievably broken.


When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse. Of an intermediate balance, under the circumstances, there is no possibility.


Jennie Gerhardt, translated by Nora Gal and Maria Loriye


An American Tragedy, translated by Nora Gal and E. Vershinna



Dusk–of a summer night.

And the tall walls of the commercial heart of an American city of perhaps 400,000 inhabitants–such walls as in time may linger as a mere fable.

And up the broad street, now comparatively hushed, a little band of six,–a man of about fifty, short, stout, with bushy hair protruding from under a round black felt hat, a most unimportant-looking person, who carried a small portable organ such as is customarily used by street preachers and singers.  And with him a woman perhaps five years his junior, taller, not so broad, but solid of frame and vigorous, very plain in face and dress, and yet not homely, leading with one hand a small boy of seven and in the other carrying a Bible and several hymn books.  With these three, but walking independently behind, was a girl of fifteen, a boy of twelve and another girl of nine, all following obediently, but not too enthusiastically, in the wake of the others.

It was hot, yet with a sweet languor about it all.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   August 7, 2021


2 thoughts on “new acquisitions

  1. irinamorogmailcom

    Dear Roger, thank you for your interest in the perception of Dreiser’s works in Russia. He was one of several major American authors representing the US literature in the Soviet Union. There were a lot of different editions of Dreiser’s works but the main the 12-volume collection ( Moscow: Pravda, 1955). I will email some of the illustrations from this edition to you, they all were made by different artists but all of them have the same realistic style.

    Всего доброго, И.В. Морозова

    > 7 авг. 2021 г., в 12:35, Roger W. Smith’s Theodore Dreiser site написал(а): > >  >

    Liked by 1 person


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