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F.A. Bernett Books

Untitled (The Bible for deaf-mutes)

Untitled (The Bible for deaf-mutes)

[Kmoch, Karel M. and Johann Karresch, illustrator] 1890. [Prague]: Pražský soukromý ústav pro vzd lání hluchon mých, [ca. 1890]. Contemporary green card boards; 130 pp. of lithographed illustrations. Boards worn; hinges somewhat weak; internally very good. [Czech Bible for Deaf Mutes]. A very uncommon edition for deaf-mutes, which presents the Old and New Testament on 130 pages of black-and-white "stick figure" drawings and iconograms, with occasional symbolic elements. The work was published by the Prague Private Institution for the Education of Deaf-Mutes, and the drawings were executed by Johann Karresch, a teacher at the school. Also included are several drawn maps. The editor was Karel M. Kmoch (1839-1913), a Czech priest who focused on caring for the deaf-mutes. The Catholic Church played a key role in caring for the deaf in Bohemia, founding three institutes and contributing to the development of several others. The first steps toward such a primer were taken by Václav Frost (1814-1865), a Czech and Austrian priest who helped found the Institute, the fifth of its kind in Europe. After Frost's early death, Kmoch continued to systematize his work into the present book. The Czech institutes continued to use sign language, in spite of the fact that following the Milan Congress the German school dominated almost everywhere (tactile language). We are unable to trace this work in KVK or OCLC. A copy is held by the Czech National Library.$2650.
Peremena. Byl' [Change. A true story]

Peremena. Byl' [Change. A true story]

Shaginian, Marietta 1924. Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel'stvo, 1924. Octavo (18.5 × 14 cm). Original pictorial wrappers (unattributed); 234, [3] pp. Light wear to wrappers; spine extremities frayed; text evenly toned due to stock, still about very good. Owner signature dated 1925 to title page. First edition. An early novel by the prolific Soviet writer Marietta Shaginian (1888-1982), based on her experience living in the Don region during the Russian Civil War (1918-1922). The Don region underwent several shifts of power, alternating between the Red Army and the Don Cossacks, supporting the White Czarist Troops. The novel chronicles the relationship between the peasants and the Cossacks in the countryside, as well as the workers, the "neurotic intelligentsia", and the "sedentary bourgeois" in the cities. In an introduction to the work, Shaginian claimed that all events in the novel are "pure truth." The novel came out in Leningrad in the same year as Shaginian's much more famous and presumably less serous work "Mess Mend - Yankees in Petrograd," an adventure trilogy published under the pseudonym Jim Dollar. Despite Shaginian's more serious literary efforts in Peremena, Maxim Gorky reportedly wrote: "For her novel 'Peremena' she deserves to eat a sandwich with English pins." Mess Mend by contrast was made into a tremendously popular film in 1926 by Boris Barnet. Front wrapper illustrated with a striking rendering of the overthrow of Tsarist Russia by the Reds (unattributed).
Imazhinizm i ego obrazonostsy: Esenin

Imazhinizm i ego obrazonostsy: Esenin, Kusikov, Mariengof, Shershenevich [Imaginism and its image-bearers: Esenin, Kusikov, Mariengof, Shershenevich]. Mark Slonim's copy

L'vov-Rogachevskii (pseud. of Vasilii L'vovich Rogachevskii) 1921. [Moscow] Revel'?: Ordnas, 1921. Large octavo (26.5 × 17 cm). Original staple-stitched pamphlet; 68 pp. Ownership note of Mark Slonim, Berlin, 1921. Lacking the very fragile printed wrappers; text somewhat toned and water-stained to margins; else about very good. First and only edition of this important treatise about four of the Russian "Imaginists" (Imazhinisty), one of the leading avant-garde literary movements, which included the poets Sergei Esenin, Anatoli Mariengof, Vadim Shershenevich, and Aleksandr Kusikov. Most closely associated with the Futurists, Imaginists were especially active in Moscow 1919-1924 and were popular with the audiences for the anarchic and sensationalist tendencies in their poetry. Shershenevich was in continuous competition with the Futurist Vladimir Maiakovsky; the two poets both wrote texts for the ROSTA (Russian Telegraph Agency) window displays during the Russian Civil War (1918-1922). Chapters include: "Imaginism as a school," "Futurism beneath a mask" (a valuable analysis of the Imaginists in the context of both Russian and West European Futurism), as well as four short essays on each of the protagonists. The author, Vasilii Rogachevskii (1874-1930), was an important Menshevik critic and historian of literature, as well as a long-time political activist, who was arrested numerous times and exiled for three years prior to the 1917 Revolution. Shortly after the October Revolution he distanced himself from politics, authoring numerous works on literature and lecturing to Proletkul't members and other schools. This copy was owned by Russian writer, literary scholar, teacher, and political activist Mark Slonim (1894-1976), a member of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party (SR) and an anti-Bolshevik activist until 1918, when he managed to flee via Vladivostok and Japan, eventually settling in Germany, Prague, and Paris. Scarce in the trade.
Avantiura ili chernyi dlia russkikh bielykh v Mongolii 1921-i god [A risky undertaking

Avantiura ili chernyi dlia russkikh bielykh v Mongolii 1921-i god [A risky undertaking, or the black year for the Russian Whites in Mongolia in 1921]

Noskov, Konstantin 1930. Harbin: self-published (Khudozhestvennaia tipografiia), 1930. Octavo (17.6 × 13 cm). Contemporary buckram boards; original wrappers perished; 76, [2] pp. Frontis portrait of the author on better paper stock. About very good. [Eye Surgery for a Wounded Soldier of Ungern's Army]. First and only Russian edition of this gruesome autobiographical narrative about the horrors of the Civil War in Mongolia. The author was an eye-witness to one of the most chilling chapters of the Russian Civil War, the rise and fall of the regime of Baron Ungern in Western Mongolia. Baron von Ungern-Sternberg (1885-1921) was a notoriously brutal military leader who remains shrouded in mystery; he drove Chinese troops out of Mongolia in 1921 with the help of White Cossacks and instituted an unprecedented reign of terror in the region before being captured and publically executed by the Red Army. The author was blinded during one of the final battles of the Ungern regime, after which the remaining fighters reached Tientsin, and reduced to living as a penniless beggar. His memoirs also appeared in English the same year, entitled "The Black Year: the White Russians in Mongolia in the year 1921" and furnished with a broadsheet in English and French, containing an appeal to Western readers. Its publication served as an attempt to collect donations to finance emergency eye surgery in Europe. The Russian preface notes that "the bloody scenes which run throughout my story may perhaps be unpleasant to the reader; perhaps the dark images of murder and brutality will trigger feelings of antipathy toward the Russian refugees. I am even quite certain of this, and yet I still cannot pass over them in silence, because the absolute majority of these people were pulled into the events against their will and convictions, as a result of the historical circumstances. Thus all responsibility must fall on the shoulders of Baron Ungern and his closest associates...." Not in Polansky. Bakich 2591. We cannot trace any copies of the book at auction in Russia or the West.
Imazhinizm i ego obrazonostsy: Esenin

Imazhinizm i ego obrazonostsy: Esenin, Kusikov, Mariengof, Shershenevich [Imaginism and its image-bearers: Esenin, Kusikov, Mariengof, Shershenevich]

L'vov-Rogachevskii (pseud. of Vasilii L'vovich Rogachevskii) 1921. [Moscow] Revel'?: Ordnas, 1921. Large octavo (26.5 × 17 cm). Original staple-stitched pamphlet; 68 pp. Lacking the very fragile printed wrappers; text somewhat toned; else about very good. First and only edition of this important treatise about four of the Russian "Imaginists" (Imazhinisty), one of the leading avant-garde literary movements, which included the poets Sergei Esenin, Anatoli Mariengof, Vadim Shershenevich, and Aleksandr Kusikov. Most closely associated with the Futurists, Imaginists were especially active in Moscow 1919-1924 and were popular with the audiences for the anarchic and sensationalist tendencies in their poetry. Shershenevich was in continuous competition with the Futurist Vladimir Maiakovsky; the two poets both wrote texts for the ROSTA (Russian Telegraph Agency) window displays during the Russian Civil War (1918-1922). Chapters include: "Imaginism as a school," "Futurism beneath a mask" (a valuable analysis of the Imaginists in the context of both Russian and West European Futurism), as well as four short essays on each of the protagonists. The author, Vasilii Rogachevskii (1874-1930), was an important Menshevik critic and historian of literature, as well as a long-time political activist, who was arrested numerous times and exiled for three years prior to the 1917 Revolution. Shortly after the October Revolution he distanced himself from politics, authoring numerous works on literature and lecturing to Proletkul't members and other schools. Scarce in the trade.
method-draw-image (23)

Le Puzzle Anational. En solidarite evec Les Prisonniers des G.A.R.I., du MIL, de la Bande a Baader, et a Martchenko d'U.R.S.S.

Ephemeral publication put out by the Individualistas Libertarios Esperantistas in demonstration of their solidarity with prisoners of various 1970's anarchist groups, consisting of a green double-sided illustrated envelope housing seven loose sheets printed on one half with texts in French such as "L'Irrationnal en politique - Vers de nouveaux rivages" and "Conditionnement autoritaire - Repression sexuelle", and on the other with images to be cut into pre-addressed postcards. Illustrated. 7 sheets 4to., green portfolio folio-size. Envelope stapled at either end, multiple tears along edges, one tear approximately 3-1/2 inches in length to front which goes through the first "Z" in "Puzzle". N.p., n.d. (circa 1975). The heading of the outer sleeve mentions solidarity with several anarchist groups, including G.A.R.I. (Revolutionary Internationalist Action Groups), MIL (Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación/Iberian Liberation Movement), Bande a Baader (RAF), and specifically with Anatoli Martchenko, a Soviet dissident writer who died as a result of a hunger strike after 11 years in prison. The addressees of the postcards include: Michel Camilleri and Mario Ines Torres (both members of G.A.R.I.) at La Santé Prison in Paris; Jean-Marc Rouillan (a member of both G.A.R.I. and MIL), also at La Santé Prison; a postcard addressed to "BAADER - carte pour tous le groupe, Prisonnier politique allemand, Prison de la torture silencieuse"; and Anatoli Martchenko, housed at "un des camps de déportation en Sibérie ou dans une prison secrète du K.G.B.). Very scarce; as of October 2019, this item is not listed in either KVK or OCLC. We can trace a yellow variant, apparently only issued as a poster, without the content, at Centre International de Recherches sur l'Anarchisme (CIRA, Lausanne).
Le Home Moderne. 20 Pages d'Album en Couleur

Le Home Moderne. 20 Pages d'Album en Couleur

Samy; René Gabriel; Genet et Michon; and Georges Champion 20 leaves of plates showing designs for domestic interiors with accompanying furniture, decorative arts, and other details, by a group of notable Art Deco interior designers, including designs for dining rooms, salons, bedrooms, a nursery, a study, and a smoking room. 20 fine illustrations partially or entirely colored by pochoir. Some scattered toning and soiling. Folio. Original boards portfolio with ribbon ties, contents loose as issued. Paris (Librairie Ch. Massin) 1926. The artists whose designs are included in this volume are mostly very well-known. René Gabriel specialized in series of furniture, and his clean style was an inspiration to many mid-century designers. He also made block-printed wallpaper in the 1920s. The Prix René Gabriel continues to be awarded to French designers for modern designs that can be mass-produced. Genet et Michon set up a joint design firm in 1911 that by 1919 was specializing in lighting fixtures and other decorative glass items. Georges Champion was a French Modernist designer who served as the artistic director of Studio Gue, the decorating department of Georges et Gaston Guerin in Paris. He also exhibited at the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, and won a gold medal at the 1937 Paris Exposition. They all exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs. A beautiful suite of designs for domestic interiors; scarce institutionally.
Zhenni Porten [Henny Porten]. Pamphlet produced by the Soviet state publisher for cinema

Zhenni Porten [Henny Porten]. Pamphlet produced by the Soviet state publisher for cinema, Kinopechat', with a short biography of Henny Porten

URAZOV, I[zmail Alievich] and Naum SOKOLIK, illustrator 1926. Moscow: Kinopechat', 1926. Octavo (14.5 × 11.5 cm). Original illustrated wrappers by Naum Sokolik; 16 pp. Photo-illustrations throughout. Light soil to wrappers; trace of moisture to upper right corner, not affecting text; still about very good. A NEP-era movie fan booklet dedicated to Henny Porten, the first German film star of the silent era, written by the film, theater and circus reviewer Izmail Urazov (1896-1965). The Russian Revolutions of 1917 and the subsequent Russian Civil War (1918-1922) devastated the Russian and Soviet film industry. Due to widespread film and equipment shortages, foreign productions came to dominate the Soviet screen, a fact often commented upon in the Soviet press. With the introduction of the New Economic Policy (NEP), a hybrid of communism and capitalism meant to jumpstart the Soviet economy, German film companies among others, brought their films to the newly open Soviet market, with fan materials such as this booklet helping to popularize specific film stars and sell tickets to their films. An editor of "Circus" magazine and a prolific reviewer, Urazov wrote similar pamphlets dedicated to other German silent stars such as Greta Garbo, Asta Nilsen, Ossi Oswalda, and Harry Liedtke. This as well as Urazov's other pamphlets were published by the NEP-era publishing house Kinopechat' (1925-1927), later known as Teakinopechat (1927-1929), which published both serious theoretical film literature by formalist theoreticians such as Boris Eikhenbaum and Viktor Shklovsky and film directors such as Vsevolod Pudovkin, as well as popular film materials. Most of Kinopechat' profits came from the sales of fan posters, post cards and booklets of domestic and foreign film stars such as this one. By 1929 the sale of these 'bourgeois fan materials' caused a scandal at the publishing house and the publisher started printing literature on "kinofikatsiia derevni" (the spread of the cinema into the villages) which was more in line with the first five-year plan (1928-1932). Nevertheless, the publishing house was soon closed. KVK, OCLC show copies at Art Gallery of Ontario, British Library, Yale, UNC Chapel Hill, and Berkeley.
Antologiia russkoi poezii XX stoletiia [An anthology of twentieth-century Russian poetry]

Antologiia russkoi poezii XX stoletiia [An anthology of twentieth-century Russian poetry], complete in two volumes

Papoušková (Nadezhda F. Mel'nikova, born 1891), editor 1920. Prague: Nacha rech', 1920. Octavos (19.5 ×14 cm). Original printed wrappers in red and blue, with translucent protective covers; 70, [1] pp. and 123, [1] pp. Owner signature of the Russian-born American painter and graphic artist Louis Lozowick. Text evenly toned due to stock; some light underlining in pencil, else very good. A famous two-volume collection of poetry of the Russian Silver Age, published in Prague at the height of the Russian Civil war (1918-1922) when many Russian intellectuals were fleeing the Bolshevik regime and settling abroad. The two volumes include poems by the big names of Russian Symbolism such as Konstantin Balmont, Dmitrii Merezhkovskii and Zinaida Gippius who settled in Paris, as well as Vyacheslav Ivanov who settled in Rome. Other poets included in the collection, such as Andrei Bely, Alexander Blok and Anna Akhmatova initially supported the Bolshevik Revolution and chose to remain in Russia, later growing disillusioned with the regime and in the case of Akhmatova and Bely being barred from publication. Of those included in the collection, only Aleksei Tolstoy had a successful writing career in the Soviet Union writing mostly prose and science fiction. Both volumes include an introduction by émigré literary scholar and publisher Nadezhda Mel'nikova-Papoušková, reflecting on the current moment in Russian poetry.
Khevronskoe vino [The Wine of Hebron: poems]

Khevronskoe vino [The Wine of Hebron: poems]

Roizman, Matvei and Georgii A. Echeistov, designer 1923. Moscow: Vserossiiskii soiuz poetov, 1923. Octavo (19 × 12.9 cm). Original staple-stitched pictorial wrappers by Georgii Echeistov; 46, [2] pp. Faint spotting to front wrapper; a very good copy. A striking Jewish-themed drawn wrapper design by Georgii A. Echeistov (1897-1946), who worked and studied under figures such as Vasilii Masiutin and V. Faliev, before working with Vladimir Favorsky at VKhUTEIN from the mid-1920s. In spite of his futurist and constructivist beginnings, he is now known primarily for developing Favorsky's style of woodcut illustrations. Roizman (1896-1973) was a poet and translator from Moscow, who was close to the Imaginists (which included Sergei Esenin, Anatolii Mariengof, and others), and ran the publishing house which issued the present volume, his solo debut. He previously issued two joint collections with Mariengof. "Weaving Biblical and Talmudic motifs into a fabric of metaphorically colorful and exuberantly rhymed modernist verse, poems in The Wine of Hebron amounted to one of the strongest manifestations of Jewish-Russian poetry... [the collection] was quite unique for its fusion of the avant-garde poetics with Judaic motifs" ... As a Jewish participant of the Russian Imaginist movement writing and publishing in the Soviet 1920s, Royzman deserves more attention by students of Jewish culture" (Maxim D. Shrayer, An Anthology of Jewish-Russian Literature, Routledge, 2007, pp. 299-300). Printed in Kaluga, in a print run of only 1000 copies. Very scarce in the trade. Getty 679.
Original flyer announcing the famous installation work by Mladen Stilinovi

Original flyer announcing the famous installation work by Mladen Stilinovi , "Eksploatacija mrtvih 1984-1988" (The Exploitation of the Dead), on January 25-30, 1988, at Hdluz Galerija Proširenih medija

Mladen Stilinovi (1947-2016) 1988. Zagreb: Galerija Proširenih medija, 1988. Single leaf of white stock, A4, xerox-printed to recto. Old horizontal crease; still about very good, in protective mylar sleeve. Scarce flyer announcing the second exhibition of a famous installation by Stilinovi , the Belgrade-born neo-avantgarde artist active in Zagreb, and associated with the "Group of Six Artists" (Grupa šestorice autora) from 1975 to 1979. He was involved in experimental film, co-founded the self-administered Podroom Gallery, and is perhaps best known for the series "Exploitation of the Dead," begun in 1984 and continued beyond 1988. It was first shown in 1986 in Germany, and this appears to have been the first installation in Yugoslavia. The work, a parade of objects which is constantly reconfigured and rearranged, has also been exhibited internationally numerous times, such as at documenta in 2007. From the author's website: "The Exploitation of the Dead refers to several things: first, to the exploitation of dead poetics of painting - Suprematism, Socialist Realism and geometric abstraction. Secondly, to the exploitation of dead signs; for me these signs are dead because they have lost their meaning, or the meaning is so transparent that it is in fact dead. For other people, of course, these signs are not dead. Thirdly, signs of cross and star  initially represented man, and were later used by religion and ideology for their purposes; today, and this is a personal interpretation, they have become signs in cemeteries, not dead signs but signs of the death." This announcement not in KVK, OCLC.