Moscow: Detgiz, 1942. Item #1864
16 pp.: ill. 16,5x13 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Some foxing, wormhole in lower outer corner throughout the copy, otherwise very good.
Russian wartime edition of “La Dernière Classe” by Alphonse Daudet.
Being the best known story from the collection ‘Contes du lundi’, the work premiered much earlier. The first Russian translation of “La Dernière Classe” appeared in 1877. Daudet wrote about the Franco-Prussian War in the late 19th century in which Alsace–Lorraine were annexed by the Germans. Orders of the new authorities claimed that no language but German could be taught in the schools of Alsace and Lorraine. Several decades later the story was relevant for Russian readers. In 1942, an essential part of Western territories of the USSR was occupied by the Nazis.
Four illustrations for this edition were created by theater designer and graphic artist Grigory Miller (1898-1963). In his youth Miller belonged to the “pure” constructivists. Since 1920, Miller had studied in VKHUTEMAS under A. Rodchenko and joined the First Working Group of Constructivists. From 1921, Miller was engaged in the book design and began to collaborate with V. Meyerhold and his followers. Since then, he was associated with the theater for a long time. In the late 1940s, he produced costume designs for the oldest professional Romani theater ‘Romen’.
Not in Worldcat.