New York: Signet Books, 1950. First edition thus. First paperback edition of Kamera Obskura. Signed on the title page by Nabokov for the Signet publisher Kurt Enoch and dated the month after publication (five years before Nabokov acheived major literary success with Lolita). Nabokov famously would not autograph books unless he knew the recipient, making signed first editions of his work scarce. Near Fine with only slight wear at the spine.
Nabokov’s novel about passion, betrayal, and ambition predated his infamous Lolita by 23 years. Laughter in the Dark allowed the author to develop themes connected to a middle-aged man’s passion for a younger woman, and to explore how a parasitic relationship based on lust could lead to mutual downfall.
Provenance: From the library of Kurt Enoch, who founded the New American Library and subsequently its Signet and Penguin imprints, and who in the late 1940s invented the mass market paperback, bringing the work of many great authors to a vast and entirely new readership. Near Fine (Item #2040)