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Maldoror.
Prague: Jan Fromek 1929 - Octavo, original wrappers bound in full calf boards, top edge gilt, 123(v)pp. No. 68 of 150 copies on antique paper, from an edition of 300 numbered copies. Selected poems from Lautréamont's proto-surrealist classic, translated into Czech by Jindrich Horejší with Karel Teige's and Philippe Soupault's collaboration. The first illustrated edition to reach publication, with twelve 2-color lithographs by Jindrich Štyrský. It includes a 30-page postscript by Teige who also designed the cover, typography and plates. The book was released in the early spring of 1929 and sold out before it was censored by authorities a few months later. The belated censorship and confiscation attempts resulted in an uproar. This is a landmark publication and a fine document of the creative ferment of the Czech avant-garde. It signaled a shift of focus in the movement of the Poetism spearheaded by Teige, Toyen and Nezval in the Devetsil movement to embracing deeper psychological and mythic undercurrents. As a visual statement it comprises some of Štyrský's finest artwork to appear in book form. The imagery and execution herald a shift in Štyrský's work from his Artificialism he had developed a few years earlier to a definite incorporation of surrealist and chance elements in his highly individual approach which would inform and characterize the artist's output for the remainder of his life. Notwithstanding the debt of the artist to the poet, the images pay no direct relationship to the text. Štyrský wrote at this time, „ The graphic description of verbal metaphors is distracting to true lovers of poetry.“ Maldoror's author figured prominently in Štyrský's psyche and he returned to Lautréamont's themes again and again. In 1939 he stated that Lautréamont was the greatest of modern poets. The entire book and contents fine, very crisp. Worldcat finds this in 10 North American libraries. Refs: Teige, ed: ReD 3, 1929-1931, No.1 pp. 3-5; No.2 pp4-48; Bydžovská & Srp: Jindrich Štyrský, 2007 pp. 159-164, inter alia; Lenka Bydžovská: Lautréamont vu par Jindrich Štyrský, in Revue des études slaves, 74-1, 2002. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Michael Fagan Fine Art & Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-02-23           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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