St. Petersburg: Tipo-lit. "Energiia", 1905-06. Quartos (ca. 33 × 23 cm). Original pictorial self-wrappers; 12 pp. each. Each with numerous color (black and red) cartoons. About good to very good copies with occasional light soil; one issue with old horizontal crease; one with front wrapper detached, two old Soviet bookstore stamps to rear wrapper, and one discrete library duplicate stamp.
Significant run of the striking satirical journal, which billed itself as one of the most ruthlessly anti-tsarist publications to emerge in the Russian Revolution of 1905 ("sarcastic and merciless"). Cathy Porter notes that these journals were, in particular, a reaction to Bloody Sunday, a protest which left hundreds dead and many more wounded: “Alongside the struggle in street and factory was the struggle for the free press. Ministers and clerics suffered assassination more by the pen than the bullet as the revolution strove for the expression of powerful emotions long suppressed. A flood of satirical journals poured from the presses, honouring the dead and vilifying the mighty. Drawings of frenzied immediacy and extraordinary technical virtuosity were combined with prose and verse written in a popular underground language, veiled in allgory, metaphor and references to the past […] For a few brief months the journals spoke with a great and unprecedented rage that neither arrest nor exile could silence" (Blood & Laughter: Caricatures from the 1905 Revolution, pp. 18-19). "Strely" features some of the earliest work of the political cartoonist and caricaturist Nikolai Remizov (or Remisoff, 1887-1979), who was loosely allied with the World of Art (Mir iskusstva) movement, and published throughout the 1910s under the pseudonym "Re-Mi." Other illustrations are signed "Gamlet" (Hamlet). Various contributions are under such pseudonyms as Parlamenter and Zoil. A known contributor was Leonid Munstein (Lolo), a playwright and poet who left Russia after the October Revolution and would direct his ire against the Bolsheviks. The editor, Isai Knorozovsky (born 1858) was a musicologist and editor who founded "Strely" after the October Manifesto, which granted, among others, the right of free press in response to the strikes and unrest that gripped the Russian Empire throughout 1905. Nevertheless, issues 2 and 5 of the journal were confiscated, and no. 9 was destroyed by court order and is considered the rarest. Knorozovsky received a jail sentence and was forbidden from editorial activities for five years. Smirnov-Sokol'skii 2292. KVK, OCLC show various issues at National Library of Israel, the French National Library, Nanterre BDIC, and seven libraries in the USA.
Book ID: P6757