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Vol'che solntse. Kniga stikhov vtoraia [Wolves' Sun: Second Book of Verse].

Stock Code 108401

Kherson-Moscow, Futuristy 'Gilea', 1914

Original price $3,675.00 - Original price $3,675.00
Original price
$3,675.00 - $3,675.00
Current price $3,675.00
Inscribed presentation copy. The first edition of this collection of Futurist poetry, with plates by Burliuk and two Russian avant-garde female artists. One of 480 copies only. Livshits had made his literary debut a year earlier with Marsova fleita [The Flute of Marsias] which was well received by critics but destroyed by the censor.

Livshits' poetry is succeeded by Chetyre zhenshchiny [Four women], a series of four plates by 'the father of Russian Futurism', David Burliuk (1882-1967). These four dynamic and fresh 'neo-primitivist' drawings are printed in blue tone and prefaced by the artist: 'Ben [Livshits], I dedicate the drawings to you; don't be angry about the misprint'. The small volume ends with a catalogue of early Russian futurists' publications, in 1908-14 in Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

Inscribed by Burliuk to Lev Grinkrug, a Russian Jewish literary and film editor and a close friend of Vladimir Maiakovskii and Lilia and Osip Briks. Together with Maiakovskii, David Burliuk and Vasilii Kamenskii, Grinkrug starred in the film Ne dlia deneg rodivshiisia [Born not for the Money] in 1918. Born to a rich bankers' family, Lev Grinkrug (1889-1987) then became financial director of the Russian Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) (1919-25). He was known for being one of the most elegant young men in Moscow, wearing a monocle, ordering suits from London and showering his closest friends with expensive gifts.

The inscription reads, 'from the publisher to the best customer "benefactor" and friend Lev Grinkrug […] David Burliuk 1917. XII' [Izdatel luchshemu pokupatelu "metsenatu" i drugu Grinkrugu Lvu […] udostoveriaet David Burliuk 1917. XII].

The book was published by the futurist group Gilea, whose members are listed on the cover: the Burliuk brothers, V. Khlebnikov, V. Maiakovskii, V. Kamenskii, A. Kruchenykh and B. Livshits. The latter suggested the group's name, borrowing it from Herodotus' Histories, where Hylaea is a part of Scythia beyond the mouth of the Dnipro River. It's here, in the Taurida province of Russia, that the Burliuk brothers spent their childhood and youth, in the estate of Chernianka.

Active in the early 1910s, Gilea was the most radical flank of Russian literary Futurism, characterised by revolutionary rebellion and opposition to bourgeois society, its morals, aesthetic tastes, and the entire system of social relations. Vol'che Solntse was the last futurist book to be printed at 'Ekonomiia', the printing house of F. Narovlianskii and Sh. Fraerman in Kherson (modern-day Ukraine). The second edition appeared a few months later in Moscow, published by 'Mysl' ('Thought'), and soon afterwards 'Gilea' would disintegrate.

First edition, 12mo (18 x 11.5 cm); 64pp., presentation inscription in pencil to title-page, introduction leaf with illustration in black and white after Ekster, colour plate after Maria Vasil'eva and four plates in blue after Burliuk under the title 'Four Women'; publisher's printed wrappers, rubbed and slightly stained, spine chipped at extremities, upper cover splitting; fresh internally.

Provenance: Lev Grinkrug (pencil dedication on title).


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