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Turkish Avant-Garde

Nail: V. 1 + 1 = Bir [1 + 1 = One].

Istanbul: İlhami Matbaası 1930. Small octavo. Original printed wrappers; 32 pp. Light wear to wrappers, especially to the spine; small pencil marks on p. 30; else good.

First edition of this book of poems by Hikmet, written from 1921 on. Nazim Hikmet (1902-1963) is considered the founder of modern Turkish poetry, who transcended Ottoman versification and absorbed the influence of Russian futurist writers such as Sergei Esenin, but above all Vladimir Mayakovsky. Aside from the "step-ladder" form of verse, he shared with Mayakovsky his sociopolitical engagement, as well as Esenin's love for the simple folk and his origins. Impressed by the 1917 October Revolution in Russia, he resisted the occupying powers in Constantinple and fled to the countryside, where he sought to connect with various socialist and libertarian organizations. In 1920s, he traveled to Russia twice for extended periods of time, where he studied in Moscow and was in close contact with Soviet Futurist poets. Upon his return in 1928 he was subject to imprisonment and harsh repressions, including a ban on publishing, but nevertheless garnered success with readers and created a prolific output while in prison. In 1938 he was sentenced to nearly three decades of jail, but was released in 1950 and fled to Moscow exile in 1951, where he was a leading public intellectual and died in 1963. He was not published in Turkey until 1965 and remained nearly unknown in the West for much longer. See also: Saime Göksu and Edward Timms, Romantic Communist: The Life and Work of Nazim Hikmet.

As of March 2020, not in KVK, OCLC.

Book ID: 50662

Price: $950.00