[Moscow]: Gosizdat, 1920. Item #298
38,  pp.: ill. 26,5х17,5 cm. In original printed wrappers. Wrappers detached from the text block, loss of the staple, small tears and losses of the wrappers and extremities of a few pages, horizontal crease, wrappers is rubbed and soiled. Otherwise a good copy.
First and only issue. Very rare.
An interesting episode of the Civil War: Mayakovsky, inspired by work in ROSTa, decides to combine bright images of the posters with simple agit-theatre performances for the peasants accompanied by balalaika. For that purpose the poem “Vsem Titam i Vlasam RSFSR” (pp. 29-32) [i.e. To All Titi and Vlases of RSFSR] was written (first appeared in this issue). Two lubok illustrations are most likely to be by Mayakovsky as well.
The poem was created in August of 1920 for the food agitation campaign. In the summer of 1920, when a crop failure was revealed in the central provinces and the Volga region, the party and the Soviet government outlined a number of measures for mobilizing available grain stocks in productive areas. The ROSTA artistic collective, always responding to all political events, received a special assignment for this campaign, and Mayakovsky, at a meeting of the Political Prospector of the People’s Commissariat on August 26, 1920, reporting on ROSTA’s participation in the campaign, proposed the use of the form for the theatrical performance for sale and read the first ‘play’ (actually a poem) intended for this purpose.
The poem is accompanied with a director’s note “To be performed under a balalaika or accordion by rayok. Next to rayok flipping chart with caricatures should be demonstrated” and two black and white lubok agitation posters illustrating the plot of the poem.
The edition itself is a collection of methodical materials and texts of theater productions for the peasants in favor of prodrazviorstka. Other two illustrations include examples of set designs for these productions.
Mayakovsky’s proposal was implemented. The theater department of the People’s Commissariat for Education worked out a broad plan for involving professional and amateur theaters in selling the campaign, in the center were organized special selling groups that went to places, in the village, peasant amateur circles were mobilized.
Worldcat locates a copy in NYPL.