Item #854 [CONTINUING THE RUSSIAN FUTURIST BOOKS] Vereshki [i.e. Waves]. E. Zamiatin.


Petrograd: Segodnia, 1918. Item #854

[8] pp.: ill. 20,5x15 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Couple bookstore stamps and marks on the last page, otherwise mint.

First and only edition. One of 1000 copies.
A unique survival of linocut editions created in short-lived artists’ collective ‘Segodnia’ (Today). The book considered one of the first experiences in design of a children’s book as a holistic organism.

In the dawn of Soviet era, one of amazons of the Russian avant-garde, Vera Ermolaeva took up relevant children’s books. This press attracted artists E. Turova, N. Liubavina, Iu. Annenkov, N. Altman, N. Lapshin and writers N. Vengrov, S. Dubnova, A. Remizov, S. Yesenin and E. Zamyatin. They created 13 brochures showing influence of the Russian lubki. Each of them was published in 1000 copies, of which 125 numbered copies were hand-colored by artists. All editions were illustrated with linocuts and continued tendencies of crude, handmade books of the Russian futurists. In summer 1918, all paper production companies were taken under control of Bolsheviks, so the collective ‘Segodnia’ issued books from March to May 1918.

This brochure premiered laconic micro stories ‘Vereshki’ written by Zamyatin outside of his prominent criticism of the Communist rule. Comparing with other books of the collective, this one is not for children and that might be the reason of sharp and dynamic graphic works by Nadezhda Liubavina supplementing the text.

In 1936, Leningrad-based artist O. Danilova hand colored this copy following the tradition of ‘Segodnia’. The reverse side of the front cover features her drawn bookplate as well as drawing below and note “Coloring is mine. 1936. A wet month - a leaf fall”. She also has altered the price on the back cover from 50 kopeks to 20 rubles 50 kopeks.

Worldcat shows copies in NYPL, Getty Institute and Yale University.


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