[SHANGHAI CONSTRUCTIVISM] Ya, vy i on: Roman iz zhizni shankhaiskikh emigrantov [i.e. Me, You and Him: A Novel from the Life of Shanghai Emigrants]
Shanghai: 1930. Item #499
, 317 pp. 13x9 cm. In original illustrated wrappers by A.A. Yaron. Very good/near ne condition. The spine is very carefully fixed.
Extremely rare. First and only edition.
Lev Grosse (1906-1950), writer and son of Viktor Grosse (1869-1931), Russian diplomat, one of the active members of the first emigration wave in Shanghai (this book is dedicated to him). His son Lev was one of a few Russian far eastern poets who were published in Europe and America up until 1941. He worked a lot as a translator, published his works in Harbin and Shanghai (even several poetry books), he led active literary life there but he was desperate for Russian language environment. In 1948 he came to USSR and worked as a translator for year, later he was arrested and died in camps in 1950s.
Wrappers were designed by Russian emigrant artist Alexander Yaron (1910- 1911). Alexander didn’t receive a proper art education but achieved all his success by self teaching and working with leading artists of Shanghai (V.S. Podgursky, V. Zasypkin, et al.).
The wrapper design echoes the constructivist designs of Soviet books of the 1920s which is very unusual for the Russian Chinese books as they usually followed pre-revolutionary patterns.
In the 19th century, the Russian community in Shanghai was small - Russians appeared there only while passing to other cities. The sharp increase in the number of the Russian community was due to the arrival of the ships of the Siberian Navy from Vladivostok. In the last months of the civil war, this flotilla was one of the most loyal parts of the white regime. By 1925 there were already over 10 thousand Russian emigrants. The difference between Shanghai and other cities was that diplomats were involved in the legal arrangement of the newcomers there. The first concerns for receiving Russian refugees from Vladivostok fell on the shoulders of Consul General V.F. Grosse.
Worldcat locates copies in Yale, University of North Carolina, UC Berkeley.