Other Currencies

Romanian Avant-Garde – Surrealism

UNU [One]: anul II, no. 19 [year II, no. 19].

Bucarest, November 1929. Quarto (32.2 × 24 cm). Original pictorial self-wrappers with the new cover design by Victor Brauner, i.e. the lettering in linocut print; [8] pp. With 14 reproduced portrait drawings by Victor Brauner. Small marginal tears; minor paper restoration to spine fold; old horizontal crease; else good.

Single issue of the Romanian avant-garde magazine, printed in an edition of 500 copies each. The periodical appeared in the years from 1928 to 1932 and represented a strong surrealist tendency. Regarding the rarity of the magazine, Sașa Pană wrote: "[...] our publications did not become rare with time, they were already rarities on the day of publication, especially the magazines that (...) existed only as wrapping paper [...]". (Quoted and translated from: Ilk, Rumänische Avantgarde, p. 4). Aside from a Dadaist poem by Tristan Tzara, this issue includes contributions by Ion Călugăru, Stephan Roll, Sașa Pană, and others.

The "Unu" group around Pană met in a Bucharest milk bar run by the father of the writer and professional boxer Stephan Roll. Pană maintained contact with the Parisian Surrealists, especially Breton, with whom he was in correspondence. Nevertheless, the group saw itself as independent. Surrealism was important in the Romanian context, but the group did not see itself as part of the movement. Within the Romanian avant-garde, "Unu" was in contact with the circle around "Contimporanul". But it was not long before "Unu" attacked its older colleagues. Pană published a sarcastic article in which he distanced himself from the constructivism of "Contimporanul" in no uncertain terms and claimed the pioneering role in Romania for himself and his journal. Pană sought to compete with Marcel Janco and Ion Vinea. (Roland Prügel, Im Zeichen der Stadt: Avantgarde in Rumänien 1920-1938, Köln, Weimar and Wien 2008, pp. 136ff.)

Ilk, Rumänische Avantgarde K337.

As of March 2023, OCLC locates only two copies in a North American institution.

Book ID: 52916

Price: $1,400.00