July 14, 2017 10:46 AM   Subscribe

posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 10:52 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]

that is a godawful interface. click on the header bar for Books, Illustrations or Artists, then click on a thumbnail, which brings up a bibliographic reference, through which you hunt for "View in Book" in order to actually page through the book.

In conclusion, "browsable database" is a land of contrasts.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 11:12 AM on July 14 [2 favorites]

I wish the text were transcribed as well, for Google Translate purposes.

Also, there's a "View Annotations" button but I haven't found any actual annotations yet. :(
posted by tobascodagama at 11:29 AM on July 14

No Worker versus Parasite?
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 12:05 PM on July 14

I like this a lot. Thanks for posting it.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:46 PM on July 14

I'm particularly enjoying Книжка-кино-сеанс о том как пионер ганс стачечный комитет спас, A Book-Film-Performance About How the Pioneer Hans Saved the Strike Committee, which involves a corpulent top-hatted Nazi capitalist boss floating in the sky like Baron Harkonnen from Dune, next to a Swastika.

posted by XMLicious at 12:51 PM on July 14 [2 favorites]

A publisher's sales rep told me that printing in Russia was subsidized. No idea if it was correct then, or now, but I have seen some of the most beautifully printed Russian illustrations, especially fairy tales.
posted by theora55 at 2:08 PM on July 14

> A publisher's sales rep told me that printing in Russia was subsidized.

Printing in the USSR was "subsidized," yes, like everything else; it was a command economy. If the government wanted it to exist, they put money into it; if they didn't, it didn't exist or existed below the radar. (There was a whole cockamamie system of pretend-budgeting and pretend-profits, but we won't get into that, because it didn't make any sense and didn't work.)
posted by languagehat at 2:17 PM on July 14 [4 favorites]

Also, earlier Soviet Children's Books posts: 2002 (by the great hama7), 2003 (by the great taz).
posted by languagehat at 2:22 PM on July 14

No idea if it was correct then, or now, but I have seen some of the most beautifully printed Russian illustrations, especially fairy tales.

From the OP link:
In the selections featured here, the user can see first-hand the mediation of Russia’s accelerated violent political, social and cultural evolution from 1917 to 1953. These conditions saw the proliferation of new styles and techniques in all the graphic arts: the diverse productivity of the Russian avant-garde, photomontage, experimental typography, and socialist realism. As was clear both from the rhetoric of the arbiters of Soviet culture – its writers and government officials – the illustration and look of Soviet children’s books was of tantamount importance as a vehicle for practical and concrete information in the new Soviet regime. Directives for a new kind of children’s literature were founded on the assumption that the “language of images” was immediately comprehensible to the mass reader, far more so than the typed word. Illustrators were raised as equals to the revered Russian author, bringing artists such as Alexander Deineka, El Lissitzky, Vladimir Lebedev, and numerous other graphic designers to the pages of children’s books to create imaginative models for Soviet youth in the new languages of Soviet modernism.
posted by XMLicious at 5:29 PM on July 14 [1 favorite]

Growing up in India in the 1980s, the Soviet Book Fairs were the cheapest and best source of high quality reading material for children. For less than 5 rupees one could get a wonderfully illustrated book of fairy tales.

I still cherish my first ever science book ("Physics for little kids", in Hindi) that I received as a birthday gift on my 5th or 6th birthday. I started reading the classics later, and enjoyed reading Sholokhov and Gorky a lot. Most of the books were just genuinely good books, not Soviet propaganda.

My interest in Russia was strong enough that I later lived and worked in Russia for a few years, but was saddened to know that all of the old publishing houses had shut down for want of funds.
posted by vivekspace at 10:48 PM on July 17 [3 favorites]

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