[UKRAINIAN BOOK AVANT-GARDE OF THE 1920S] Borot’ba z trupom [i.e. Blind Circle]. M. Renard, A., Jean.
[UKRAINIAN BOOK AVANT-GARDE OF THE 1920S] Borot’ba z trupom [i.e. Blind Circle]

[UKRAINIAN BOOK AVANT-GARDE OF THE 1920S] Borot’ba z trupom [i.e. Blind Circle]

Lviv: Novyi Chas, 1926. Item #1154

198 pp. 16.2x22.9 cm. In original illustrated publisher’s wrappers. Loss of the tiny pieces of the spine. Otherwise in fine condition.

Very rare. First edition. Avant-garde wrapper design by Robert Lisovskyi (1893-1982).
This is the first Ukrainian translation of Maurice Renard’s and Albert Jean’s controversial novel Blind Circle. The novel was originally published in French in 1925 and was translated into Ukrainian a year later by Mykhailo Rudnystky (1889-1975). Works by the famous Ukrainian literary critic, writer, and poet began to appear in print from 1908 while the author was studying at Lviv University (1908-1912). Rudnytsky went down in the history of Ukrainian literature as the author of numerous monographies (Mizh ideyeyu i formoyu [i.e. Between Idea and Form] - 1932), collections of poems (Ochi ta usta [i.e. Eyes and Lips] - 1932), memoirs (Pys’mennyky zblyz’ka [i.e. Writers Up Close] - 1958, 1959, 1964), and translations of William Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, Emily Bronte, Honore de Balzac, Prosper Merimee, etc. In 1947, Rudnytsky was accused of nationalism, expelled from the Writers’ Union of the Ukrainian SSR and was prohibited from publishing (until 1951). However, Mykhailo hastened to ‘admit’ his ‘mistakes’ and was soon rehabilitated.
The book represents an interesting example of Ukraianian avant-garde, which at the time was in its flourishing phase. The edition features a wrapper design by one of the most famous Ukrianian futurist artists Robert Lisovskyi. After graduating from the Kyiv Art Academy, Lisovskyi continued his studies at the Ukrainian State Academy of Arts (1918) under the key figure of Ukrianian graphic design Georgy Narbut (1886-1920). The period from 1923 until 1927, which Robert spent in Lviv, is considered to be the peak of his artistic work. Lisovskyi started collaborating with a number of publishing houses (Izmarahd, Nova Kultura, Molochnyy Shlyakh, etc.) and became actively involved in book design. Some of his most famous works of the time include wrapper design for V. Bobinsky’s Noch’ lyubvi [i.e. Night of Love] (1923), Renard’s and Jean’s Borot’ba z trupom [i.e. Blind Circle] (1926), etc. The latter, one of Lisovskyi’s last works in Ukraine, is up to date regarded as the masterpiece of Ukrainian book design. In 1927, the artist emigrated to Berlin to continue his studies and spent the rest of his life abroad. Lisovskyi became engaged in the design of coins and was famously involved in the creation of the logo of one of the largest European airlines - Lufthansa.
Overall, an interesting example of Ukrainian avant-garde, which after the publication of the book lasted only a few years and was suppressed with the introduction of Socialist Realism in the early-1930s.
In the Blind Circle, one of the most controversial novels of the 1920s, the authors imagined the creation of artificial lifeforms through the process of ‘radiogenesis’, a sort of human electrocopying or cloning process.

Worldcat shows a copy of the edition at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Status: On Hold
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