Description

    Trotsky seeks to publish a new edition of Literature and Revolution while in exile

    Leon Trotsky Autograph Letter Signed "Leo Trotsky." One page, 6.75" x 8.25", in English and German, Oslo [Norway]. At the time he wrote this letter, Leon Trotsky was a man in exile. Having been forced to leave the Soviet Union in 1929 for counter-revolutionary activity (Trotsky was the de facto leader of the Left Opposition, which opposed Stalinist leadership of the Communist Party), he spent four years in Turkey before being offered asylum in France in 1933. Two years later he was forced out of France and headed north to Norway. While staying in Oslo, he wrote this letter to Mr. S.L. Solon regarding the publication of his book, Literature and Revolution. He begins in English by stating that his English is "so poor that I prefer to answer your letter in German." The remainder of the letter reads, in full:

    "I have never had a contract with International Publishers and they have no right to my books. Who made the translation of my book 'Literature and Revolution,' I do not know, it would take a man in America with experience. But I am closely connected with the publishing house, Pioneer Publishers, and a new edition of the book 'Literature and Revolution' could only be made with this publisher. Do you want to contact Pioneer Publishers? They will then write to me."

    S.L. Solon was an editor of The Modern Quarterly (later renamed The Modern Monthly), an American intellectual journal of radical opinion, founded by V.F. Calverton (writer, editor, reformer). Its contributing writers included Roger Baldwin, John Dewey, W.E.B. Du Bois, Max Eastman, Sidney Hook, Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Bertrand Russell, Norman Thomas, Richard Wright, et al.

    The Modern Quarterly was an independent revolutionary Marxist journal that reflected the radical American intellectual movement of the '20s and '30s. It was fiercely opposed by the Communist Party and its front organizations.

    Though the letter is undated, a pencil notation in the upper right corner dates the letter October 1936.

    Trotsky was condemned to death in absentia during the so-called Moscow Show Trials in mid-August 1936. Bowing to pressure from the Soviets, the Norwegian government placed him under house arrest and moved him south to the town of Hurum, forty miles south of Oslo, sometime around September 2, 1936.

    Trotsky was finally offered refuge in Mexico and he and his wife settled there in January 1937. Fate caught up with him in 1940 when he was killed by Ramon Mercader, a Spanish Communist and Soviet secret agent.

    Condition: Tiny separations in places at the edges mentioned for accuracy. Very light foxing spots.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2015
    4th-5th Wednesday-Thursday
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