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Soviet Samizdat

Kroliki i udavy (filosofskaia skazka) [Rabbits and boa constrictors (a philosophical fairytale)].

[Germany]: self-published, ca. 1982-1987. Octavo (21.5 × 15 cm). Original card wrappers with carbon copy typescript to rectos only of a grid-lined notebook; 251 leaves, partially hand-numbered. Very good.

A samizdat copy of a postmodernist fable about a failed utopia written by Fazil’ Iskander (1929-2016), one of the best-loved Soviet writers of his generation and “among the most popular authors of samizdat” (See Mark Lipovetsky and Eliot Borenstein “Russian Postmodernist Fiction”, 2015). Iskander began publishing his absurdist and satirical prose in 1962, during the “Thaw”, a period of relatively relaxed censorship in the Soviet Union. His 1966 satirical novella “The Constellation of Capritarius”, published in the liberal and well-respected literary magazine Novy Mir, made Iskander a literary celebrity. The story also met with considerable criticism for lampooning Soviet agricultural drives. In 1979 Iskander, along with other significant “Thaw” era and postmodernist authors such as Yevgeny Popov, Andrei Bitov, and Bela Akhmadulina, took part in the fateful publication of the samizdat literary almanac “Metropol” edited by Vasiliy Aksyonov and Viktor Erofeev. The publication was condemned by the Union of Soviet Writers, with both editors expelled from the Union and others such as Iskander banned from publishing in the USSR. The present novella was first published abroad, in the US, by the Ann Arbor publisher Ardis in 1982. Samizdat copies of the publication circulated in the Soviet Union until its official publication during Perestroika in 1987.

According to our source, the present item was printed in Germany, and belonged to a Soviet Officer who was part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSFG).

Book ID: 51195

Price: $275.00