[New York]: George Reavey (The Letter Edged in Black Press, Inc.), 1968. Oblong octavo (14 × 20 cm). Original pictorial wrappers;  pp. Signed and inscribed to title: "Dorogoi Nine s bezotvetnost’iu v liubvi (samoi druzheskoi!), noiabr' 10, 1984, NYC (To Dear Nina, with unrequitedness in love (the most platonic kind!), November 10, 1984, NYC). Light soil to wrappers, else very good or better.
Signed and inscribed facsimile edition of a unique samizdat album of visual poetry created by Genrikh Khudiakov (pen name Avtograf), an artist, poet, translator and member of the unofficial poetry scene first in Leningrad and later in Moscow in the 1960s and 1970s. Khudiakov (1930-2019) graduated from Leningrad State University with a degree in Slavic philology, specializing in Czech, and worked as a Czech translator in Moscow in one of the so-called “mailboxes,” a classified institution known to the public only by the number of its mailbox. Khudiakov did not own a typewriter and seems to have typed some of his poetic experiments on one of the typewriters at work, presenting them in the apartment and studio gatherings of underground Moscow artists. Remembering those gatherings, Eduard Limonov writes: “I saw Genrikh Khudriakov for the first time in 1968. He read and 'showed' his poems in the apartment of one of the Moscow poets. There were about 20 people assembled. Ropes were strung from wall to wall of the room and Khudriakov’s famous 'Katsaveiki' hung from them – sheets of paper about 30 x 40 cm, with a handful of words arranged in a special way graphically, making up visual poetic works. In certain cases, the text was appended with pieces of cloth, or the author’s passport photo, or his fingerprints.” Khudriakov originally composed “Katsaveiki” (the word means short fur-trimmed jackets) in 1965-1966. In 1968 they were published in a facsimile edition in New York, in a careful (though reduced in size) reproduction if the children’s album in which Khudriakov wrpte his compositions. In 1974 Khudiakov emigrated from the Soviet Union and settled in New York.
Khudiakov was known as a loner even within the unofficial scene and did not join any of the artistic groupings. Limonov comments: “Khudiakov is part of the left wing in the Russian unofficial literature. By his admission, his favorite poets are Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetaeva. Khudiakov knew Pasternak personally and the latter highly praised his poetry. In his poetry Khudiakov went formally much further along the same path, and some of his poetic experiments of the lettrists (Isidore Isou etc.) in France. He has some poems made up of syllables. This is done from the desire to achieve greater expressivity, by emphasizing certain elements of words” (The Blue Lagoon. An Anthology of Modern Russian Poetry. p. 509). One of Khudiakov’s albums was featured as no. 57 in the Temmen Monograph on samizdat (Präprintium: Moskauer Bücher aus dem Samizdat, 1998). Laid into the present edition is the English-language preface by the publisher, George Reavey, the Russian-born surrealist poet who served as Beckett's first literary agent. KVK, OCLC only show the copies at Amherst, Ohio, Urbana Champaign, and Washington.
Book ID: P5374