[1970s - early 1980s]. 31x21,5 cm. In contemporary blind cloth bindings. Light soiling of bindings, otherwise near fine.
One reel of 13-mm wide magnetic tape. 21 cm in diameter. Mint.
The reel is supplemented with 3-page memoirs by the previous owner, Kyiv resident Alexander Andrukhovich. Signed and dated 2018. He writes:
“...Like many cities, we have a flea market. Radio market. There one had recommended a place where I could get text on magnetic tape for printing on the technology available to me – electronic computing machine [Russian: EVM]. Oh joy! There is text on a magnetic tape! But only Vysotsky’s poems. I took the risk. Later it turned out that a brown tape 19 mm wide, wound on a reel the size of a dessert plate contains several works by the Strugatsky brothers as well.
The first thing I did was type “Hard to Be a God” on the sly during my lunch break at work. There was more adrenaline in the blood than necessary. What if one caught me? It could be compared to a parachute jump. The rest I typed while on a business trip at night, so that no one would see or guess. I had to present the tape at an airport, declare the text as technical materials, and carry the prints with me, but it seemed like a trifle. I spread several of Strugatsky’s works among friends. I used a copy of Vysotsky’s “Nerve” to pay the dentist for a filling in a molar tooth.
The attitude towards samizdat as a phenomenon was different in my circle. Some didn’t accept it with disgust, some didn’t understand why it was necessary. In Kyiv, I managed to exchange a copy of my tape for a tape with “The Master and Margarita”. Later I experienced other exchanges, but this one turned out to be the most successful. All copies were gifted. It was nice to communicate with people who think the same way as you. I became confident in the correctness of my own opinion. A little later, when exchanging magnetic tapes, I received texts of poetry by Akhmatova, Pasternak, poems by Barkov, a selection “Sex and Family”, parodies by A. Ivanov, etc.
Recently it became clear that I wasn’t the only one who read and printed samizdat. It’s so good that none of us got caught at work and paid for our thoughts and our own selves.”
The printed part of the collection represents good examples of underground printing in the USSR. Bound in plain covers, they were hidden from a fleeting glance. One of the light-brown bindings covers three sexology works, translations of Kama Sutra and two erotic prose works, as well as Ivan Barkov’s poems, full of harsh profanity. A translator of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, Ivan Barkov (1732-1768) lived and composed poetry during Lomonosov’s lifetime. In most works, his literary style is too far from odes. In the case of sexology, after decades of silence, a negligible quantity of translated works had been published since the 1960s. Kama Sutra wasn’t officially printed throughout the Soviet era.
Another light-brown book opens with literary parodies “Pegasus is not a luxury” by Alexander Ivanov (1936-1996) that brought popularity to the author. Behind Ivanov, stories by Henry Kattner and “Murphy’s Law” by Arthur Bloch are published.
Green cloth covers a Russian samizdat version of the story of jazz, “Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya” (1955) by N. Hentoff and N. Shapiro. An official Russian edition of this book was published much later – in 2000. Other foreign works on jazz history began to appear in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, but this one was distributed in samizdat only.