Leningrad: Raduga, . 16 pp.: ill., including covers. 27,5x22 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Spine and tears of covers restored, some soiling, creases, signature on front cover and title page, pencil note on front cover, otherwise very good. Lithographed throughout.
Fourth edition of the legendary poem. Scarce as all original Raduga books.
This fantastic story by Korney Chukovsky (1886-1969) debuted in 1926 with the same design. Konstantin Rudakov created the earliest version of illustrations that were reprinted up to the seventh edition of 1930. In the manner of Leningrad (Lebedev’s) school, he designed the poem with collage-style illustrations. After him, the poem was entrusted to V. Konashevich and K. Rotov. With their illustrations, the work was reprinted and translated to other languages multiple times. This fairy tale is quite autobiographical. The main character is exhausted by telephone calls from animals and his dream is just silence and quiet: “I didn’t sleep for three nights, I’m tired”. Chukovsky suffered from severe insomnia, according to his daughter Lydia Chukovskaya. Really, people constantly called him with various requests, and he helped many. The calls often woke him up when he finally managed to fall asleep after a debilitating period of insomnia. So Rudakov depicted the author himself in the book. Chukovsky’s fairy tales were printed in large printruns and went through many editions, but they didn’t fully meet the tasks of Soviet pedagogy. In 1928, Krupskaia attacked his poem ‘Crocodile’ as
“chatter and mess”. Soon, party critics and editors began to fight against “chukovshchina”. Under the criticism, the author was forced to renounce his tales. In the 1930s, he turned to children’s psychology and translations. Yet, ‘Telephone’ wasn’t banned. In 1930, ‘Raduga’ was closed and the tale was transferred to Gosizdat.
In 1944, Mikhail Tsekhanovsky directed an animated film ‘Telephone’ that enlarged a number of animals calling. After the war, the text itself was slightly extended from 8 sections to 11.
Not found in Worldcat.