Tartu: Odamees, 1918. Octavo (18 × 14.2 cm). Original pictorial wrappers by Ado Vabbe; 213 pp. Good or better; wrappers lightly creased; spine extremities torn.
First Estonian translation of Maeterlinck's 1908 play "The Blue Bird" ("L'oiseau bleu"), and one of the earliest appearances of the Belgian Symbolist writer in Estonian. Translated by Marie Under (1883-1980), the Estonian writer and literary organizer, who established the "Siuru" group, a gathering of Bohemian spirits whose work emphasized sensual experience and joyous optimism. The group played a key role in Estonian modernist literary life; it took its name from the mythological fire bird "Siuru" of the Estonian national epic "Kalevipoeg". The wrappers were illustrated by Ado Vabbe (1892-1961), one of the most significant Estonian painters and graphic designers. Vabbe helped introduce modernist tendencies into Estonian art and was one of the founders of the "Pallas" union of artists (as well as the art school by the same name, which helped train a new generation of Estonian artists in the 1920s). Prior to returning to Tartu, he studied in Munich, where he came in contact with members of the Blaue Reiter Group such as Wassily Kandinsky, visited important Western art collections, and met representatives of both Italian and Russian Futurism. Curiously, the publication still features a censorship approval note, printed below the publisher on the title page: "Zur Verbreitung und zur Ausfuhr zugelassen. Presse-Abteilung A. O. K. 8." Rare; Not located in KVK, OCLC.
Book ID: P003340