Other Currencies

One of Kruchenykh’s Hectographed Poetic ‘Tournaments’

Turnir poetov [Tournament of poets; first edition].

Moscow: Izdanie Gruppy Lefovtsev, 1929. Oblong octavo (17 × 21.5 cm). [18] leaves of hectographed holograph text to rectos. Lacking front wrapper; occasional light stains and small tears; some professional restoration.

Copy number 9 from an edition of 150 copies. With Igor Terent’ev’s portrait of Aleksei Kruchenykh on page 6. Lacking the wrappers designed by Kirill Zdanevich. Not in MoMA. As of October 2020, KVK and OCLC show four paper holdings in North America.

One issues of this series of hectographically published volumes by the prolific poet and editor Aleksei Kruchenykh, which appeared from 1928 to 1934. They gathered “his friends’ impromptus and literary parlor games” (Markov, Russian Futurism, 371) and were presumably composed during gatherings of his literary circle. Participants were prompted to write humorous lines that rhymed with the names of Kruchenykh, contemporary musicians, as well as other poets from the circle. Evidently they also incorporated earlier lines by writers no longer living, such as Velimir Khlebnikov. The pamphlets were lithographed from a coated glass plate, based on the handwriting of several of poets (their names are indicated in each edition) and printed in very limited runs, usually numbering between 100 and 150 copies. They featured texts by Boris Pasternak, Nikolai Aseev, Igor’ Terent’ev, Vera Inber, Valentin Kataev, Il’ia Sel’vinskii, Velimir Khlebnikov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and others, and were copied out by, among others, Valentin Kataev, Ivan Kliun, Iurii Olesha, and T. Tolstoi.

Book ID: 50994

Price: $2,000.00