Other Currencies

Rváč [Rvach; The Grabber].

Prague: Aventinum, 1926. First Czech Edition. Octavo (20 × 14 cm). Original decorative wrappers; [6], 405, [2] pp. Signed by Erenburg, in pencil, on the front fly leaf, with the former owner's note in ink below indicating that this copy was signed after a lecture at the Umělecká beseda; a brief newspaper clipping about the lecture is also affixed to the leaf. Pages loose in wrappers (as issued). Wrappers worn and dust-soiled; small chips to the spine.

Famous for The Thaw (1954), the novel which gave its name to the more liberal period following Stalin's death, Erenburg (1891- 1967) was a key figure in twentieth-century Russian culture. After enjoying a bohemian lifestyle in Paris in the 1910s, he returned to Russia following the October Revolution. Although he had been a member of the Communist Party previously, he initially rejected the Bolshevik takeover, but soon became a prominent Soviet journalist and translator who spent much of the 1920-30s in Western Europe, where he maintained close ties with avant-garde artists, émigré circles, and left-leaning writers, while serving as a Soviet press correspondent and cultural ambassador. Rvach, written in Paris in 1925, was one of three novels by Erenburg that addressed the socio-economic failures of the so- called New Economic Policy introduced in 1921. Too controversial for publication in the Soviet Union, the novel was instead issued in Paris in 1925 and translated into Czech the following year. This copy of the first Czech edition was signed by Erenburg during his stay in Prague in 1926, where avant-garde artist and critic Karel Teige invited him to lecture on the fate of Constructivism in the Soviet Union.

Book ID: P002328

Price: $250.00