Moscow: izdanie gruppy druzey Khlebnikova; Steklografiya NKPS, 1933. 20 pp. 29x21 cm. One of 100 copies. Original illustrated wrappers with Khlebnikov’s silhouette by Kliun on the front cover. Separate leaves (unrestored). Marginalia throughout the issue in pencil.
The first and only edition. One of the rarest issues of the series.
The issue includes the index to 5-volume collected works that was printed in Leningrad the previous year. In the preface to this issue Kruchionykh who has put together the index himself together with Yuri Olesha, Artyom Vesely and Pavel Vasilliev explains why index is important and points out several poems that were left out of the collected works ‘on purpose’.
By creating this index Kruchionykh in a way shows the official publishers that they are not up to the tasks and that the actual expertise is with ‘the group of Khlebnikov’s friends’. This gesture indicates the bibliographic substance of Kruchionykh as a book person. He ends the index with a short list of Khlebnikov’s works that were still not found and with the call to anybody who had his manuscripts to contact him.
Glass-printed collections of unpublished texts by the prominent figure of the Russian avant-garde Velimir Khlebnikov (1885-1922) were published by Alexei Kruchionykh during the years from 1928 to 1933 after the author passed away. In total 24 issues were printed. According to Viktor Shklovsky, because of these ‘incunabulas’ the literary heritage of one of the most exceptional Russian poets Khlebnikov has been preserved.
Each issue consisted of 12 to 20 pages and was printed in an edition of fifty to one hundred and fifty copies. For almost every issue the text was written by hand (collections ‘‘made’’ by Artem Vesely, Yuri Olesha, Boris Pasternak, Mikhail Pustynin are known) and then reproduced on a glass recorder. The imprint indicated that the publication was carried out by the ‘Group of friends of Khlebnikov’. In fact, both the idea and its implementation almost entirely belonged to the poet, theorist of futurism, the founder of the “abstruse language”, publisher and bibliophile Alexei Kruchionykh (1886-1968). With these little books he continued the tradition of futuristic lithographic editions of the 1910s.