Other Currencies

“Literatura”: K khudozhestvennoi politike RKP [“Literature”: toward the artistic policy of the Russian Communist Party].

Moscow: Vserossiiskii Proletkul’t, 1924. Octavo (17.5 × 13 cm). Original printed wrappers; 109, [1] pp. Light soil to wrappers; crease to front wrapper; text toned due to stock; occasional underlining in pencil; about good or better.

First edition. This polemical pamphlet argues for tightening the political positions of the Russian Communist Party in the sphere of literature. Leon Trotsky is especially criticized for his laissez-faire approach to the arts, and for his tendency “not to meddle”, to accept all manner of “fellow travelers” and to do away only with those groupings, which are clearly against the party. The author, Nikolai Chuzhak (born Nasimovich, 1876-1937), a journalist and literary critic, was a member of RSDLP (Russian Social Democratic Labor Party) since 1896, and joined the Bolshevik faction in 1905. Chuzhak was arrested in 1906 and eventually exiled to Siberia, later escaping to Europe (Geneva) where he was active in publishing in revolutionary circles. After the 1917 Revolution, he returned to Russia, working first in Siberia and later in Moscow, at Glavlit (Central Administration for Literary and Publishing Affairs) and sat on the editorial board of “Katorga i ssylka” (Exile and forced labor) and LEF “Levy Front Iskusstv” (Left front of the Arts). Chuzhak also helped draft some of LEF's founding statements, with his primary interest lying in factography. He eventually parted ways with LEF due to his disagreements with Maiakovsky. Some of his literary criticism focused on the literary output of Siberian proletarian writers, with the aim of demonstrating a rich literary tradition in Siberia. In this pamphlet, Chuzhak also takes issue with Trotsky’s statements about the dearth of existing proletarian art beyond the factory “Stengazeta” (wall newspaper), a claim Chuizhak disputes here and in other writings. One of 2000 copies. KVK, OCLC show two copies, at the Library of Congress and Freie University Berlin (with a digital copy at UCLA).

Book ID: P6450

Price: $275.00