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Russian Book Jackets, 1917-1942
May 16, 2007 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Russian Book Jackets, 1917-1942, courtesy of the NYPLDG. [Via Growabrain]
posted by Alvy Ampersand (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Very very nice. thanks for this!
posted by luriete at 12:14 PM on May 16, 2007


S'cool, comrade.
posted by bardic at 1:54 PM on May 16, 2007


The Soviets were good at sucking the life out of a lot of art, but not book jackets, apparently. Interesting that the book jackets reflect the artistic persuasion of the government at whatever time it was published. I would expect them to be a bit more pragmatic and, um, dull.
posted by redarmycomrade at 2:43 PM on May 16, 2007


Wonderful—thanks for the post! Check out this Thousand and One Nights edition.

Interesting that the book jackets reflect the artistic persuasion of the government at whatever time it was published.

Not sure what you mean by this. The fact that the Soviet government had ultimate power of censorship (you obviously could not have published a book portraying Nicholas II as a saint or Lenin as a devil) does not mean that every single book jacket reflected "the artistic persuasion of the government," whatever that might be. Sometimes a book jacket is just a book jacket. And the USSR happened to have a shitload of great designers and artists.
posted by languagehat at 3:46 PM on May 16, 2007


Constructivism is the awesome.
posted by maxwelton at 11:25 PM on May 16, 2007


I was referring to the fact that the government did indeed control the content and design of every single book that was published during this time. There were official artistic and literary unions that controlled what exactly got published. This was the primary vehicle of government censorship...Started with casual nudging of great authors in these unions, and ended with their death (See Maxim Gorky).

The government specifically pushed all art into Soviet Realism or Avant Garde during this period of time. I was just pointing out that, in looking at the book covers together, one can see the influence of the government-promoted art styles.
posted by redarmycomrade at 8:53 AM on May 18, 2007


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