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Czech Avant-Garde Striking Teige Design, Inscribed by Biebl

Nebe peklo ráj [Heaven hell paradise]. Editio Princeps, vol. 2.

Prague: Nákladem Erny Janské, 1930. Large octavo (25.6 × 18.2 cm). Original gray wrappers over blind card boards, mounted title label on orange paper across front board, spine, and part of rear board; 43, [4] pp. Signed and inscribed by Biebl to front free end paper to a friend. Lacking the blind slipcase; spine sunned; two small tape repairs to corners; still a very good copy.

Rare bibliophile edition designed by Karel Teige, one of 150 copies printed, entirely on handmade laid paper, this being no. VIII of twenty copies which were not for sale. This copy features a lengthy personal inscription by Biebl to Jiří Žantovský (1909–2000), the writer, translator and librarian, in the year of publication.

Biebl was a Czech poet and Communist Party member, closely associated with other Czech Communist writers and poets such as Jiří Wolker and Vítězslav Nezval. After being recruited into the army in 1916, serving on the Balkan Front, and fighting in Montenegro, he returned home after being first taken captive and then hospitalized. He began writing poetry shortly thereafter, and then joined several avant-garde literary groups including Devětsil, the Brno Literary Group, and Literární skupina. In 1934, Biebl became one of the founding members of the Czech Surrealist group in Prague along with Nezval, Karel Teige, Štyrský, Jaroslav Ježek, and others.

A major work reflecting Teige's innovative, but simultaneously innovative work in typography, in a peculiarly Czech fusion of avant-garde and particularly constructivist design and bibliophilic fine press publishing.

Karel Teige a typografie, 288–292 (pp. 118–121). Not in Vloemans. Not in Primus.

As of December 2021, KVK, OCLC show seven copies in North America. Rare in commerce.

Book ID: 51752

Price: $1,500.00