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Anti-Soviet Satire

Govorit "Radio Erevan": izbrannye voprosy i otvety [“Radio Erevan” is broadcasting. Selected questions and answers"].

Munich-Brazzaville: self-published ("Logos"), 1970. Octavo (21 × 14.5 cm). Original decorative card wrappers; [76] pp. Illustrations. Small title inscription in pink ink to spine. Occasional markings in red ink to text. Else very good.

A famous cycle of political jokes about the Soviet system, with wrapper design and introduction by Nikolai Olin (born Men’chukov; 1909–1978). In the introduction, the author refers to the Soviet satirical journal “Krokodil” and the Munich “Simplicissimus” as inspirations for his satire. He also credits pre-Revolutionary Jewish jokes, the humor tradition of the Georgian Kinto entertainers who “cleverly lampooned both chauvinism and nationalism” as well as the tradition of Armenian riddles as the origins of “Radio Erevan”. A second-wave émigré and likely member of the controversial collaborationist ROA (Russian Liberation Army), during WWII Olin published caricatures in ROA newspapers. After the war Olin was held in the DP Camp Schleißheim-Feldmoching (Munich), where under the pseudonym Irkolin he published the mimeographed satirical journal “DP Satiricon”. The journal contained jokes about the Soviet system, the daily life in a DP camp as well as about the camp administration itself. In 1951–1953 Olin was part of the editorial team of the socio-political journal “Satiricon”, a kind of émigré antipode to the Soviet satirical journal “Krokodil”. Printed in Munich where Olin settled, Satiricon also lampooned the Soviet system, and was clandestinely distributed to Soviet soldiers stationed in Germany. This compilation was also likely intended for Soviet soldiers with the warning about the illegality of distributing “anti-Soviet propaganda” printed to rear wrapper. Satirizing this prohibition the wrapper states: “With security in mind, the best solution to this dilemma is to burn this book immediately, and to by another copy, but this time so no one can see you.”

Scarce in the trade.

Book ID: 51822

Price: $150.00