Bibliotechka gazety “Sovetskaia moral’ka” [Small library series of the newspaper “Sovetskaia moral’ka”], no. 1. Moscow: Liga, 1989. A5 (21 × 14.5 cm). Single folded leaf, printed to rectos and versos, twice folded; 8 pp. Very good.
First Russian appearance of Venedikt Erofeev’s brilliant satirical work, which had appeared in Paris a year earlier (1988), and was one of the last publications of the writer (1938–1990). The work is “a collection of quotations, mainly from the works and letters of Lenin, but also from the published letters of those close to him like Krupskaia and Inessa Armand. This collection of excerpts ‘from first sources’ creates an anusual image of the leaders and founders of the ‘new type of state’, destroying the familiar clichéd images of the humanity, self-sacrifice, fairness and so on of the most important figures of the Soviet myth” (Cornwell, 283). While the “collage” of quotations captures unexpected moments of human weakness and candor, the underlying sense of Lenin’s true personality is terrifying. Published as a samizdat supplement to the underground newspaper Sovetskaia moral’ka, later continued as Iskra (1988–1991). Its editors were S. N. Diudiukin and S. N. Fokin. Most likely published in a print run of 500–800 copies. The brochure is described in Novaia periodika i samizdat na territorii Sovetskogo Soiuza, 1987–1991: katalog kollektsii, ed. E. B. Zhemkova, Bremen, 1992. As of October 2019, we can only trace the copy at the British Library.
Book ID: 50257