ODOEVTSEVA, IRINA VLADIMIROVNA [IRAIDE HEINIKE]. 1895-1990.
Kontrapunkt [Counterpoint]. Paris: Rifma, 1951.
Small 8vo. 47 pp. Original wrappers hand-colored by the author. Uncut, and unopened.
PRESENTATION COPY not only with hand-painted wrappers but also a lengthy inscription in Russian verse on the front free endpaper:
(Champaigne, the piles of roses)
Neither music nor love
I no longer take seriously
The star is burning in the desert
The camels, the gifts, the tsars
Sing my guitar, talk
About the timeless happiness
Till smoky Parisian dawn
Poet, novelist and memoirist, Irina Odoevtseva was the favorite student of poet Nikolai Gumilov. Technically an Acmeist, she developed her own distinct style and was highly experimental as a writer. She and her husband Georgii Ivanov left Russia in 1922 and were at the center of Russian émigré society in Paris. In later years, when they were both struggling to live, they sometimes hand-painted collections of their verse to make them more desirable to collectors. Consequently each copy is a different and unique work of art. Odoevtseva finally returned to Leningrad in 1987 to great fanfare and her memoirs became a bestseller.