Moscow; Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo, 1928. Item #1598
203,  pp. 23x15,5 cm. In original decorated wrappers. Small tears of spine, soiling of covers and some page corners, otherwise very good.
First and only edition. One of 3000 copies.
Simple yet notable cover and title page designs were created with math symbols – digit 0, asterisk, round and curly brackets, function, division slash – and ornamented borders. They were printed in black and red. The designs were produced by Alois Kreichik (1893-1937). He studied at the Printing Department of VKHUTEMAS in 1921-1927. In 1928-1932, he was a member of the art group “October”. In the early 1930s, he was a contributor to the collection ‘In Memory of Fallen Fighters of the Revolution” that was published in Latvian. The work was soon banned and printrun was liquidated. Alois Kreichik became a victim of the Great Purge in 1937.
This early Soviet monograph is devoted to changes in a literary image of the East caused by social and economical changes in the early 20th century. Its author, Solomon Veltman (1883-1960) was a Russian publicist and historian, secretary of the Scientific Association of Oriental Studies. Apart from this book, he published some biographies of Caucasian film actors and directors.
Nine chapters of this book are devoted to four topics: 1) French colonial literature showing interaction between White and Black people; 2) English and American literature describing East manners and daily life; 3) works by Rabindranath Tagore as his insight into a problem between West and East, and a race question in India; 4) Russian literature.
He rather criticizes “Persian motifs” by S. Esenin for the lack of East spirit. He marks “a fair amount of clumsiness in construction of the verse” but is more dissatisfied that feels “Russia in the East” instead of the East itself. Veltman writes more favorably of some works by Soviet Armenian poet Marietta Shaginyan, early Bolshevik writings of Kalmyk author Anton Amur-Sanan, Turkestan stories by V. Sveshnikov and the Far East work “In taiga of the Ussuri land” by V. Arsenyev.
Interestingly, the author added film scripts as the last chapter. He overviews some early Soviet films devoted to Caucasus and “nominal East”. He mentions “Seething East” (1926) by D. Bassalygo, “Sheikh Azis’ Revenge” by orientalist Ye. Polivanov, “Song upon Spone” by Kh. Khersonskii and “Abrek Zaur” (1926) by I. Bei-Abai.
Copies are located in Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, Yale, California LA and Berkeley, Illinois, Cornell, Washington Universities and NYPL.
Price: $550.00Status: On Hold