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Lithuanian Avant-Garde

Aušrinė: laisvos socialistinės minties žurnalas [Aušrinė: free journal of socialist thoughts]. Nos. 1-4 (1933).

Kaunas: self-published, 1933. Small quartos (26 × 19.3 cm). Original staple-stitched pictorial wrappers; 79, [1] pp. (ca. 20 pp. per issue). Each issue with numerous illustrations. Very good issues; the first two with light foxing and dust-soiling to wrappers; the last two fine, uncut and unopened copies.

The complete final run, in four issues, of an important, yet scarcely documented Lithuanian journal of socialist revolutionary thought and culture with distinct anarchist leanings. Initially a school paper, it was issued irregularly over a period of twenty-three years, with long periods of forced inactivity. It was originally published by the Lithuanian activist publisher Felicija Bortkevičienė-Povickaitė (1873–1945). Publication was halted during World War I, but the journal appeared from 1919 until the 1926 conservative coup d’état by Antanas Smetona, which plunged Lithuania into a reactionary regime until World War II. Among they key editors were J. Kruopas and J. Klimavičius. Numerous famous literary figures of the time collaborated with Aušrinė, such as J. Baltušis, K. Boruta, P. Cepėnas and others. The journal was named after the feminine deity of the morning star in Lithuanian mythology, a strong metaphor of dawn.

These final issues were a particularly forceful attempt to bring the ideas, art, and literature of left-wing anarchism to a broader public. Issue one contains an appeal by the editors, explaining their desire to involve readers in the struggle for a “free socialist culture”: “we invite everyone to work together for the great work of socialist culture.” The covers feature works by Niklavs Strunke, Masereel, Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, Mykhailo Dmitrenko, and an unidentified Lithuanian artist by name Šavikina. The contributions include original poetry and prose by Kazys Boruta, K. Jakubenas, V. Davainis, J. Baltusis; reports on international struggles for workers‘ rights, anti-capitalist and anti-clerical essays, an essay on Wagner and revolution; as well as numerous reviews and announcements for recent book publications, among them important works of the Lithuanian avant-garde. Rare; we trace no copies in the trade or at auction.

As of October 2021, not found in KVK or OCLC.

Book ID: 51685

Price: $1,250.00