[Lviv: Izmarahd, 1932]. 91,  pp. 9x13 cm. Three unbound stacks of unsewn and folded in half leaves. Near fine.
One of 100 copies. The edition by the famous Ukrainian literary critic, writer, and poet Mykhailo Rudnystky (1889–1975). His works began to appear in print from 1908 while the author was studying at Lviv University in 1908-1912. The interwar period was the most prolific in his lifetime. Rudnytsky went down in the history of Ukrainian literature as the author of essays (Mizh ideeiu i formoiu [i.e. Between Idea and Form], 1932), poetry and prose collections (Ochi ta usta [i.e. Eyes and Lips], 1932), memoirs (Pys’mennyky zblyz’ka [i.e. Writers Up Close], 3 parts: 1958, 1959, 1964) and translations of William Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, Emily Bronte, Honore de Balzac, Prosper Merimee, etc.
When the USSR invaded Poland and established Soviet power in Western Ukraine in 1939, Rudnytsky was an employee of the newspaper ‘Dilo’. At that time, the publication of all Lviv newspapers was banned, so Rudnytsky began to work in a Communist newspaper ‘Vil’na Ukraina’, continuing to contribute to Lviv literary life, meanwhile his family hastily emigrated. Rudnytskyi didn’t choose the path of confrontation with the regime and joined the Soviet Writers’ Union in 1940. 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 came out in the Lviv publishing house ‘Ismarahd’ which was tightly connected with the literary and printing activity of Rudnytskyi. The organization printed contemporary Ukrainian authors and was headed by Galician military officer and publisher Mychailo Matchak (1895–1958), a victim of post-war NKVD executions and the GULAG system.
Rudnytskyi was an initiator and active contributor to many projects of the publishing house ‘Ismarahd’. Design of separate editions and the entire book series was produced by Ukrainian avant-garde artist Pavlo Kovzhun (1896–1939). He stood at the forefront of Polish Ukrainian art and has become a notable figure in the history of Ukrainian book design creating the covers, illustrations and bookplates. He was a founding member of the Association of Independent Ukrainian Artists and an author of several monographs about contemporary Ukrainian artists. For this edition, Kovzhun created a double title page in black and green that features an ornament of eyes, lips and complementary figures. Apart from that, every work of this collection opens with an initial produced in the same style, but in green color only.
The only copy is located in Harvard University.