Tiflis: Zakkniga, 1926. Item #255
14 pp., 1 ill. 17x13 cm. Original wrappers with constructivist photomontage. Wrappers slightly rubbed, faded bookshop’s stamp and pen marks on the back cover, spine is rubbed with a small tear at the bottom and rusty staple. Otherwise a very good, clean and sound copy.
First edition. Rare. 1 of 5000 copies.
With one internal photomontage designed by A. Rodchenko. Original constructivist photomontage wrappers designed by A. Rodchenko.
On the front cover Mayakovsky in coat and hat stands in front of a tax collector. As Rodchenko explained «I had Volodya’s [Mayakovsky] photograph already but do you know who was in a role of tax collector? You'll never guess... Raskol’nikov»(Katanyan, V.A. Raspechatannaya butylka). By that he meant Fyodor Fyodorovich Raskol’nikov (1892-1939), commander or Red fleet on the Caspian, Soviet diplomat. Rodchenko used his photo as he turned away on three quarters so nobody could recognize him and nobody did. Rodchenko often used photographs of his friends and acquaintances in his photomontages.
The poem was written in the end of April of 1926 and was published in June of that year. Interesting that Mayakovsky actually asked Moscow Financial Department in his application to lower his income tax on that year as he wanted him to be considered as a worker. He as a possessor of a “liberal profession” had to submit declaration of estimated income. Those who avoided submission had to pay fine («and twenty-five for failing to send in my returns»). In his application Mayakovsky explained that as a poet it was hard for him to predict income so instead of submitting declaration he used to see a tax collector regularly. But the main motive to writing this he named «the general decline of literary products».
MoMa 657. Katalog prizhiznennykh izdanii. №62.