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Epigramatikuv zivotni roman. (An Epigrammarian's Biography)

Epigramatikuv zivotni roman. (An Epigrammarian’s Biography)

Jaroslav (Jaroslav Vojtech) Octavo16.5x12.5 cm, decorated cloth, (36) pp. Inscribed by Jaroslav Vojtech to the famous culture-defense lawyer Kamill Resler. Illustrations by Frantisek Bidlo. The colophon states that the book was printed "In the Reich during the period of forced labor in a limited number of copies in 1944". Perhaps even more risky than Vojtech's verse on the epigrammarian's heroic effort to write poetry and truth in the face of censorship are Bidlo's three illustrations of the young artist wielding a pen, engaging in satirical activities and then being imprisoned by the target of his satire. Tragically Bidlo (1895-1945), one of the most scathing caricaturists of Nazis in the 1930s, predicts his own fate here: he was persecuted during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia and arrested in January 1945, imprisoned at Terezin and died a few months later from typhus. Another heroic figure connected this book is Kamill Resler (1893-1961), to whom Vojtech inscribes this copy. Resler defended a number of leftist artists and writers (Jindrich Styrský, Frantisek Halas and Josef Hora, S.K. Neumann), organizations and publishers (Václav Petr and Rudolf Skerík). His office was often transformed into a cultural salon where leftist poets (Halas, Seifert, Hora) and artists (Pravoslav Kotík, Franti sek Kobliha, Václav Masek) would often meet, including his good friend Frantisek Bidlo. It was during the occupation that he put himself at the highest risk, defending a number of Jewish and leftist prisoners (including Bidlo) and financially supporting the victims and their families. He was eventually taken in by the Gestapo but released. In addition to his legal work he was a publisher, writer and translator. Vojtech (1922-2003) was an eternal thorn in the side of social and political establishments with a scathing humor. He acquired a prominent position in the Dubcek régime until the invasion. OCLC finds 4 copies held worldwide, none in North America. A fine copy in fine dust wrapper.
Trois etudes pour piano - Tri etiuda dlia fortepiano. Oblozhka Ar. Lentulova . (No.3)

Trois etudes pour piano – Tri etiuda dlia fortepiano. Oblozhka Ar. Lentulova . (No.3)

Nicolas Roslawetz (Nikolai Roslavets) Folio 34x26.5 cm, wrappers, 16pp. Cover design by Aristarkh Lentulov, a lithograph with metallic inks, of the first edition of Nikolai Roslavets Three Etudes, with hand-lettered title page by Lentulov. Each etude appeared separately in three scores with the same cover. The present copy is the third one. The composer had collaborated with the Futurists during this time and his work was included in an anthology headed up by the Burliuk brothers and Lentulov. Roslavets (1881-1944) was likely the most radical composer in Russia of the day and his experimental work employing tone rows and synthetic chords may have surpassed Schoenberg s compositional techniques at that time in being thought through. However, its challenges to the listener and performer earned him great antagonism and scorn from the Soviet Union of Composers and ultimately the musical establishment. He refused to bend to political pressure and during his lifetime he was proscribed, tarred and feathered by the formal critics, his compositions confiscated and destroyed. He became a non-person and was forced to relocate from centers of culture. The proscription of his music and punishment for its performances continued until 1990. This first edition of the etudes is rare, with only the Getty in North America holding a copy; copies in the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the National Library of Israel are the only holdings outside of Russia.