On Hold

Armenian Avant-Garde

Khosum e radio-Alzhire: satirapoem [Radio Algieria speaking: a satiropoem]. Russian title: Govorit Radio-Alzhir.

Erevan: GIZ SSR Armenii (Pethrat), 1931. Octavo (25 × 17 cm). Original staple-stitched pictorial wrappers by Tajat Khvachvanqyan; 38 pp. Light wear and creasing to wrappers; still very good.

First and only edition of this futurist-inspired "satiropoem" by Vshtuni (1894-1958), who was one of the co-signers (along with Yegishe Charents and Gevorg Abov) of the 1922 “Manifesto of the Three,” which advocated for a turn away from nationalism and towards proletarian internationalism in literature and the arts. The author's indebtedness to futurism is evident not only from the wrapper design, but also from the inventive typography, which uses ample enjambments, bold and all-caps type, as well as additional decorative elements for a dynamic page design.

With a striking wrapper design by Tajat Khachvanqyan (also spelled Tachat Khachvankian, e.g. Տաճատ  Խաչվանքյան, 1896-1940, the painter and graphic artist. Khachvankian was the subject of a recent monograph, which shed light on his work and fate (he fell victim to the Stalinist purges in 1940) for the first time. Along with Yegishe Charents, Hakob Kojoyan, and V. Feltki, Khachvankyan was one of the most prominent and important Armenian avant-garde artists active in the interwar period. See: Artur Avakyan, Khudozhnik Tachat Khachvankyan (Erevan, 2007). Page 85 of the monograph reproduces the original design for this wrapper, held by the National Gallery of Armenia, which differs somewhat from the present wrapper.

As of September 2021, KVK and OCLC show two copies, both in North America.

Book ID: 51328