New York: Viking, 2005. 1st Edition. 8vo. Fine / Fine. Item #17119
A gorgeous 1st Edition of one of Vollman's seminal works, signed by the author without inscription on the title page.
"Set in Central Europe during the 20th century, it examines a vast array of characters, ranging from generals to martyrs, officers to poets, traitors to artists and musicians. It deals with the moral decisions made by people in the most testing of times and offers a perspective on human actions during wartime. Vollmann makes use of many historical figures as characters such as revolutionary Nadezhda Krupskaya, composer Dmitri Shostakovich, artist Käthe Kollwitz, film director Roman Karmen, poet Anna Akhmatova, SS officer Kurt Gerstein, activists Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, as well as German general Friedrich Paulus and Soviet general Andrey Vlasov.
"In an afterword, Vollmann admits that while the book is heavily researched and mostly features real people, the work should be regarded as fiction. He calls it "a series of parables about famous, infamous and anonymous European moral actors at moments of decision." Though largely true to history, a number of anecdotes or details are created by the author, such as the "imaginary love triangle" between Shostakovich, Roman Karmen, and Elena Konstantinovskaya." - Wiki
Black cloth with titling stamped in silver. 811pp. Square tight binding. Clean interior. Dust jacket Fine. Presents handsomely in archival mylar.
An essential for any Vollman collection.