Berlin: Skify, 1922. Item #842
56 pp. 22,5x15 cm. In original illustrated wrappers with letterpress design. Restored spine, copy faded, otherwise very good.
First separate edition.
A stunning letterpress design on the front cover was created by El Lissitzky in Berlin period. The crossword motif appeared on several book covers he produced. Here the artist put the vertical line of alphabet cross the horizontal lines of author’s name and title. Later the book ‘For the Voice’ (1923) featured the crossword design on the cover and the vertical line of the index on inside.
This is devastating criticism of the Russian futurism and his creator, blaming Mayakovsky in primitive performing of ideas he announced. Occasionally the author complimented Mayakovsky and called him “a heavy truck of the Russian poetry” for the hard work on the truly machine, realistic rhymes. The book was written by the critic Razumnik Ivanov-Razumnik (1878-1946), Tiflis born leader of the pre-revolutionary literary group ‘Skify’ (Scythians) that were close enough to the Left Socialist Revolutionaries. A little earlier he published this work in the collection ‘The Old and New Art’ (1921), printing it among the theatre criticism articles.
Worldcat shows the copies in Library of Congress, Yale University, Getty Institute, University of California, University of Kansas, Indiana University, Harvard College, University of Colorado Boulder, Duke University, Syracuse University, Yivo Institute for Jewish Research, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.