Moscow: Gosizdat, 1929-1930. 26x18 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Good. Cancelled stamps of Research Institute of Book Science on p. 1, last leaf and front cover of #2-8 (1930). Covers of #1, 7 (1929) detached from text blocks, with foxing. Tears of spine of #3, 7 for 1929, #7 for 1930.
Printrun of 1929 was 10 000 copies, then it decreased to 6200 copies in 1930. Stunning constructivist cover design was produced by Varvara Stepanova.
Very rare set of Soviet critical and bibliographical magazine published in 1929-1930. Its was edited by Platon Kerzhentsev (1881-1940), one of Proletkult’s leading theoreticians, who studied time-management and self-organization, and a founder of the mass social organization ‘The League of Time’.
Formation of ideologically charged literature was one of the main goals of the Soviet state in the earliest period. The main purpose of publication was to overview the contemporary book industry after 10 years of the Soviet Union, interesting and - even more important - ideologically right editions. Detailed and ruthless criticism of useless literature (the rubric ‘In the bin’) was of great significance.
The first issue of the magazine included an article ‘The revival of» Russianism’ analyzing development of Soviet children’s books and influence of Chukovshchina [works and style of writer Korney Chukovsky] on them, as well as criticism of caricatures by K. Rotov, K. Eliseev, V. Fomichev published in satirical magazines ‘Krokodil’ and ‘Smekhach’.
Sometimes, Alexander Rodchenko joined Stepanova in the design of this edition. Thus, issue #3 (1929) features three photographs by him, including pictures of a construction site, and #6 (1930) shows four of his photographs of kolkhoz placed on p. 1. Apart from that, several pages of issue #7 (1929) were dedicated to V. Mayakovsky’s books and posters; some of them were created in collaboration with Rodchenko.
For this periodical, a row of curious photomontages were produced combining heads of M. Bulgakov, I. Ehrenburg, E. Zamyatin and I. Novikov with “typesetting trash” (old decorations). They were published in issue #3 (1929).
Analyzing other periodicals, this magazine included pictures from them: an article on a journal ‘Pechat’ i revoliutsiia’ is supplemented by a photo of Meyerhold’s performance of Mayakovsky’s ‘The Bedbag’, film stills of V. Pudovkin’s productions and so on.
A critical review of a magazine ‘Isskustvo v massy’ published by the AKhR art group was unusually presented in issue #15/16 (1929), reproducing paintings by AKhR members in comparison to photographs by well-known masters A. Shaikhet, M. Alpert, B. Orlovskii. Depicting similar people or objects, these “sides” expressed reality differently.
Worldcat shows most issues located in LoC and Amherst College, some issues located in Yale, North Carolina and Harvard Universities, NYPL.