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Czech Books & Ephemera


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    €150.00

    Šichty: motivy hornické a sociální [Shifts: mining and social motifs] by Švingr, Vítězslav Jan

    Prague: self-published, 1936. Octavo (20.8 × 13.5 cm). Original typographically designed wrappers (anonymous); 28, [1] pp. Signed and inscribed by the author. Fine condition. Scarce undocumented book of proletarian verse with a dominant mining theme, with a striking avant-gardistic wrapper design (unattributed). Little is known about Švingr (1907-1939), who also published under the pseudonyms Emilie De Vasceari and Jan Grvít. KVK and OCLC show copies at the Czech National Library, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek and the British Library.


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    €375.00

    Na vzdory jim... písně, songy, balady, chansony, poesie [Und euch zum Trotz: Chansons, Balladen und Legenden] by Mehring, Walter and Jiří Taufer, translator

    Olomouc: Index, 1938. Octavo (21.2 × 14.7 cm). Publisher's pictorial wrappers; 105, [4] pp. Wrappers very lightly worn; upper spine nicked; else very good. First Czech translation of Mehring's first publication in exile, which appeared in Paris in 1934, and contains poems from his books burned by the Nazis, as well as some recent texts. Mehring (1896-1981) was a Jewish German writer and noted satirist of Weimar Germany, who was barely able to escape abroad after Hitler's rise to power. Designed throughout by Zdeněk Rossmann, for the left-leaning Index publishing house in Olomouc, which also issued the eponymous modern art and architecture journal throughout the 1930s. The book also incorporates Mehring's own drawings, With Rossmann's distinctly understated typographic design. The translator, Jiří Taufer (1911-1986), was a noted Czech communist poet and translator, and later an official of the communist regime. The book includes his poem to Taufer, including a German translation by Walter Hart ("Brief an Walter Mehring"). Also included is a postscript by Bedřich Václavek. Outside the Czech Republic, KVK and OCLC only show the copies at SLUB Dresden, Akademie der Künste, Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Getty, Smithsonian, and Yale.


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    €175.00

    Josef Istler. [Cyklus "hlav" od Josef Istlera. The cycle of "heads" by Josef Istler] by Pečírka, Jaromír, author

    Ústí n. Orlicí: JZK ROH Klub prátel výtvarného umění, 1965. Octavo (21.3 × 13.9 cm). Single folded leaf, printed to recto only and apparently conceived as a poster. With four full-page reproductions of Istler's work. Signed by Istler to the front page. Fine condition. Ephemeral exhibition catalog, printed as a poster, for a group of works around the concept of "heads," comprising forty lithographs produced between 1958 and 1965. With a lengthy text by Jaromír Pe írka and a short biography and exhibition history of the artist. Istler was a founding member of the Skupina RA (Group RA), a Czech post-war surrealist formation which sharply distinguished itself from pre-war Czech surrealism. The author's essay looks closely at Istler's surrealist influences, referring both to his theoretical works and to the writings of Teige, Ludvík Kundera, Vratislav Effenberger, and others. Scarce, especially signed. Not in KVK, OCLC.


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    €50.00

    Life behind the Iron Curtain. Document of the Communistic Coup in Czechoslovakia by Jandacek, A. J

    Chicago: National Alliance of Czech Catholics, 1949. Octavo (26 × 14.5 cm). Publisher's stapled pictorial wrappers; 88, [1] pp. Small tear to wrapper; pencil note to title (gift of author); else very good. English translation of this anti-communist account of the 1948 takeover, which appeared in Czech the same year. Frontispeace features caricature of Stalin carrying a whip, with the caption "The gospel according to 'St. Marx'." No other copies in the trade as of December 2018. KVK, OCLC show eleven copies.


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    €60.00

    S. V. U. Mánes. Umění republikánského Španělska. Španělští umělci pařížské školy [The art of Republican Spain. Spanish artists of the Paris school]. Catalog of an exhibition held at S.V.U. Mánes

    Prague: S.V.U. Mánes, 1946. Octavo (20 × 12 cm). Original pictorial dust-wrappers over blind wraps; [26] pp. and twelve unnumbered leaves of reproductions. Occasional underlining to last few pages; else very good. Catalog of the 361. exhibition of S.V.U. Mánes, held January 30 through February 23, 1946, and showing the work of numerous modernist Spanish painters and sculptors who were part of the School of Paris in the interwar period, such as Francisco Bores, Julio Gonzalez, and Pablo Picasso. With texts by Frédéric Delanglade, Paul Eluard, Jean Cassou, Tristan Tzara (all translated into Czech), followed by a list of 244 works exhibited. With twelve full-page black-and-white reproductions on coated stock. Catalog and poster for the exhibition designed by Vojtěch Tittelbach. KVK, OCLC only show the copies at the Czech National Library, Frick Library, and the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam).


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    €35.00

    The Mission of a Small Nation by Beneš, Vojta

    Chicago: Czechoslovak National Council of America, 1941. Second edition. Octavo (21.5 × 14 cm). Publisher's printed wrappers; 110, [2] pp. With a map and a potrait of Masaryk. Very good. "To all men of good will! This book was written for busy people interested in the fate of the small enslaved European nations... it attempts to portray adequately the fate of Czechoslovakia and the sad destiny of those nations burdened with Nazism" (author's postscript). Stamp of the "Czechoslovak National Council of America" in Chicago, which distributed the book.


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    €250.00

    Fidel Castro a Universita Karlova. Fidel Castro and Charles University

    Prague: Universita Karlova, 1973. Octavo (21 × 11 cm). Original gilt-embossed white cloth; violet endpapers; 39, [1] pp. Boards very lightly discolored; else very good. [Castro's Honorary Doctorate]. Scarce celebratory volume published on the occasion of Fidel Castro's 1972 visit to Prague, where he was received with great pomp and awarded an honorary doctorate from Charles University. A preface by the University Chancellor attempts - rather unconvincingly - to justify Castro's scholarly achievements and introduces Castro's talk on the occasion, which he calls "an important link in the secular connection of the Prague University with the peoples of Latin America" (29). Castro's speech, which is printed in Spanish, Czech and English, touches on the Czech context of the international class struggle and mentions the politician and writer Julius Fu ík, who became a communist martyr after his death at the hands of the Gestapo in 1943. Also reproduced are five photographs showing Castro during the ceremony at Charles University. One of 820 copies, and scarce: In North America, KVK, OCLC only show the copies at Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, and Yale.


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    €90.00

    Prokletí básníci [The cursed poets] by Verlaine, Paul, Adolf Kroupa, and Karel Teige, designer

    Prague: Otto Girgal, 1946. Octavo (21.5 × 15.5 cm). Original cloth boards with title to spine; pictorial dust wrappers by Karel Teige; 130, [2] pp. With many illustrations throughout the text and a sixteen-page appendix of plates reproducing the artworks of Desbordes-Valmore, Manet, Gauguin, Matisse, Renoir, and Teige among others. Dust jacket with light fraying to top and paper restoration to spine extremities; closed tear to front panel of jacket; very good in a good dust jacket. Karel Teige designed the cover and wrote a postscript to this translation of Verlaine's essays "Les Poètes maudits" (1883-1884), from a text published in Paris in 1900. Both the cover and the appendix contain erotic surrealist photomontage imagery by Teige, highlighting his continued artistic connection with Surrealism and the Western art world even as Czechoslovakia came firmly under the Soviet sphere of influence after WWII. Surrealism was seen as standing in opposition to Socialist Realism, the state-mandated Soviet aesthetic from the mid-1930s. Even as Teige endorsed communism, his aesthetic commitment to Surrealism was held suspect by the local communist government. His artistic activity came to be progressively suppressed as a result, with this publication serving as an excellent late example of Teige's allegiances. Pictured in: "Karel Teige a typografie," no. 510.


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    €250.00

    Co víte o Židech? Podle stejnojmenného cyklu politických přednášek českého rozhlasu [What do you know about the Jews? Adapted based on an eponymous series of political lectures on the Czech Radio].; "Na okraj nové doby" ["On the brink of a new era"], vol. 38 by Kříž, Alois, editor

    Prague: Nakladatelství Orbis, 1941. Octavo (21.2 × 14.7 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; 90, [5] pp. Very good. First and only edition of a series of anti-semitic radio speeches, adapted and edited by Alois Kříž (1911-1947), a German-born Czech journalist who had embraced the ideology of the German occupants after 1939 and wrote numerous books on politics from a Nazi point of view. From 1941 he worked for the Czech radio, where he produced political commentary and the lecture series "What do you know about the Jews and Freemasons?" The lectures, by various scholars and demagogues, feature titles such as "They Just Don't Belong to Europe!" and "The Jewish Question and its Resolution." As documented on a famous photograph, Kříž himself was dramatically arrested during the so-called Prague Uprising of May 1945. He was subsequently sentenced to death for his collaboration with the Germans and executed at the Pankrác prison. See also Jindřich Toman, Photo/Montage in Print, p. 155: "Nazi propaganda repeatedly confirmed photomontage's modernist connotation by using this technique to discredit what Nazism was trying to dissociate itself from - the spirit of Weimar... Czech propaganda titles by Orbis Publishers from the period of Nazi occupation (1939-1945) exploit photomontage for anti-democratic propaganda as well..." Of the present cover, Toman notes: "showing a group of Jewish men, applies photographic rhetoric of the 'how-they-really-are' kind." 4.3.37. Scarce; outside the Czech Republic, we locate copies at Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Harvard, and YIVO.


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    €150.00

    Original signed linocut print by Josef Bartuška of the Linie Group by Bartuška, Josef (1898-1963)

    České Budějovice, 1925. Original linocut print on thin laid paper, measuring 22.4 × 15.5 cm, plate size ca. 10 × 7 cm. Signed in pencil and with Bartuška's stamp to lower left. Very good, save for smudge to upper right corner. Original signed linocut print by Josef Bartuška (1898-1963), the leading figure of the Linie Group, an avant-garde movement active in České Budějovice after 1931, which embraced cubist and other modernist tendencies in opposition to the dominant local school of traditional landscape painting and decorative arts. Bartuška was an extremely versatile artist, working in photography, graphic arts, painting and line drawings, as well as collages. He also worked as a poet, playwright and film script-writer, amateur film director, musician, critic and theoretician. Along with Karel Valter, Ada Novák, Emil Pitter, Miroslav Haller and others he published the group's eponymous journal, Linie from 1931 to 1938. As a graphic artist he was influenced by Toyen and Štyrský, as well as by the Cologne "Gruppe progressiver Künstler." In the second half of the 1930s he created numerous more political drawings and prints, often with reference to the war in Spain. He is known primarily for his photographic work, subject of a separate 1932 exhibition, while the rest of his extensive oeuvre remains unknown, especially outside the Czech Republic. For more on this under-appreciated group, and on Bartoška in particular, see Jaroslav Anděl's monograph, "Avantgarda o mnoha médiích: Josef Bartoška a skupina Linie, 1931-1939" (2004).


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    €350.00

    Vzorník písma odborného u iliš a štátnych pracovných záloh íslo 15 [A typographic specimen of the state vocational school no. 15]

    Bratislava, 1955. Large octavo (25 × 17 cm). Original embossed beige cloth; ca. 200 leaves of text to rectos. Title beginning to detach; else very good. Scarce and very appealing Slovak typographic specimen book, published by a state-run trade school in Bratislava, evidently after the February 1948 communist coup in Czechoslovakia. It includes an introductory essay on the history of typography, a guide for using the specimen for orders from the printer, and a table of contents. Among the included fonts are Script, Orchidea, Bernard medieval, Umbra, Ratio, Veneziana. Also included is a notably large section of "poster fonts" including large wooden type, as well as a section of ornamental frames and borders. The poster fonts include Roman, Don, Gulliver, Energos, Script, Kamenné, Reform grotesk, Blok, Kábel, and several others. The specimen leaves are attratively printed in black with green legends. Very uncommon, like must such publications, which were intended for print orders and discarded when no longer relevant (or disfigured by cutting out samples of type). Not located in KVK, OCLC.


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    €120.00

    Sen a skutečnost. Výstava obrazů, kreseb a grafiky s mezinárodní účastí, 28. III.-18.IV. 1971, Třebíč - Zámek [Dream and reality. An exhibition of paintings, drawings and graphic works with international participants, March 28 to April 18, 1971. Castle Třebíč]

    Třebíč: Západomoravské muzeum, 1971. Octavo (21.5 × 15 cm). Original pictorial wrappers; [10] pp. Four reproductions. Very good. Scarce exhibition catalog, featuring numerous members of the international surrealist group C.I.A.F.M.A. (Centrale International de l'Actualité Fantastique et Magique), such as Karol Baron, Alexis Keunen, Max Bucaille, Victor Delhez, Rudolf Haus, Caspar Rauh, Aubin Pasque, Helmuth Plontke and members of the Lacoste Group. Held at the West Moravian Museum in Třebíč (today the Vysočina Museum). Not in KVK, OCLC.


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    €450.00

    Sovětská karikatura [Soviet caricatures] by Varšavskij, Lev O. and Lubomír Linhart

    Prague: Knihovna Levé fronty (V. Palán), 1934. Octavo (19 × 12 cm). Original pictorial wrappers by Karel Poličanský; 30, [2] pp. Very light repair to upper spine tip; very good. The first book on Russian, and especially Soviet, political caricatures to appear in the Czech Republic. It was issued as part of the famous series "Knihovna levé fronty" ("The Left Front Library"), which was issued by the eponymous group of leftist artists and intellectuals, which took the place of the earlier Devětsil group around Karel Teige, Jaroslav Seifert, S. K. Neumann and others. Features samples of works by the leading Soviet caricaturists Deni, Boris Efimov, Mikhail Cheremnykh, D. Moor, V. Vasil'ev, and others. With a preface by the translator, Lubomír Linhart (1906-1980), a film and photography critic who served as the speaker of the Film-foto group of the Left Front in the 1930s. Design and typography by Karel Poličanský, an architect and book designer who used the pseudonym Jiří Friml. Outside the Czech Republic, KVK and OCLC only locate copies at IISG and Oxford, with none in North America.


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    €2,400.00

    Untitled (The Bible for deaf-mutes) by [Kmoch, Karel M. and Johann Karresch, illustrator]

    [Prague]: Pražský soukromý ústav pro vzdělání hluchoněmých, 1890. Contemporary green card boards; 130 pp. of lithographed illustrations. Boards worn; hinges somewhat weak; internally very good. [Czech Bible for Deaf Mutes]. A very uncommon edition for deaf-mutes, which presents the Old and New Testament on 130 pages of black-and-white "stick figure" drawings and iconograms, with occasional symbolic elements. The work was published by the Prague Private Institution for the Education of Deaf-Mutes, and the drawings were executed by Johann Karresch, a teacher at the school. Also included are several drawn maps. The editor was Karel M. Kmoch (1839-1913), a Czech priest who focused on caring for the deaf-mutes. The Catholic Church played a key role in caring for the deaf in Bohemia, founding three institutes and contributing to the development of several others. The first steps toward such a primer were taken by Václav Frost (1814-1865), a Czech and Austrian priest who helped found the Institute, the fifth of its kind in Europe. After Frost's early death, Kmoch continued to systematize his work into the present book. The Czech institutes continued to use sign language, in spite of the fact that following the Milan Congress the German school dominated almost everywhere (tactile language). We are unable to trace this work in KVK or OCLC. A copy is held by the Czech National Library.


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    €45.00

    Československé légie v Rusku, 1917-1920 [The Czechoslovak Legions in Russia] by Kvasnička, Ján

    Bratislava: Vydavatelstvo slovenskej akadémie vied, 1963. Octavos (24 × 17.5 cm). Publisher's decorative cloth, in decorative dust jacket; 343, [1] pp. and [20] pp. of black-and-white reproductions. Very good, in good or better dust jacket. First edition of this Slovak history of the Czechoslovak Legion during the Russian Civil War in Siberia, where Czech forces were at one time in control of the entire length of the Trans-Siberian Railway, before fleeing the Bolshevik enemy toward the East. The reproductions feature numerous documents in Russian. One of 1000 copies printed.


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    €200.00

    Lidé z Reklubu: satirické veršování s karikaturami Karla Matějíčka [People from the Reklub: rhymed verses with caricatures by Karel Matějíček] by Šafr, Václav, Karel Matějíček, illustrator, and Stanislav Maršo, designer

    Prague: Reklamný klub československý, 1936. Octavo (18.5 × 12.5 cm). Original printed wrappers; 42, [3] pp. Twenty caricatures by Karel Matějíček, most of them full-page. About fine, in protective mylar. A charming book of satirical verses and caricatures about leading figures of the pre-war Czechoslovak advertising world. In 1927, the "Reklub" - short for Reklamný klub československý, or the Czechoslovak advertising club - was founded to offer a community to various artists, designers, and texters active in the bourgeoning field of commercial advertising. Its aim was to defend the interests of agencies and individuals, and to inform about news of international advertising, and to provide a sense of community. The Club existed until 1949 and was the subject of a recent study by Dušan Pavlů. Jan Brabec, Jaroslav Hencl, Jiři Pacovský, Jaroslav Richter, Miroslav Sutnar, Jiři Solar and many others. Typographic design by Stanislav Maršo (1910-1976), a specialist in advertising and typography. KVK, OCLC show no copies outside the Czech Republic.


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    €200.00

    Bragožda a jiné válečné vzpomínky [Bragožda and other war memories] by Neumann, Stanislav Kostka and Karel Teige, designer

    Prague: Odeon, 1928. Octavo (19.8 × 14 cm). Original pictorial wrappers, printed in orange and brown on beige cover; 85, [2] pp. Very good. First edition of these war reflections by S. K. Neumann (1875-1947), the Czech poet, publisher, and journalist. Neumann was known for his anarchist leanings, and later became one of the co-founders of the Czechoslovak Communist Party. With appealing cover design and typography by Karel Teige. Vloemans 131.


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    €400.00

    Čo povieš svojmu decku? Rozhovory, príklady a rady pro sexuálnu výchovu [Wenn dein Kind dich fragt... / What will you tell your child?] by Reich, Dr. Annie, Jozef Rybák, designer, and Evžen Klinger, translator

    Bratislava: Dav, 1933. Octavo (19 × 13.8 cm). Original photo-illustrated wrappers; 47, [1] pp. Light toning to wrapper edges; else very good. ["Bratislava Bauhaus"]. First and only edition of this Slovak translation of Viennese psychoanalist Annie Reich's 1932 book on children's sexual education, "Wenn dein Kind dich fragt..." With wrappers by Jozef Rybák, who was involved with the School of Arts and Crafts (Škola umeleckých remesiel, or ŠUR) in Bratislava, founded in 1928 and in many ways close in spirit to the Dessau Bauhaus. Its founding members included The teachers noted avant-garde artists such as Ľudovít Fulla, Mikuláš Galanda, Jaromír Funke, and Zdeněk Rossmann, and visiting lecturers included Moholy-Nagy and Tschichold. Rybák created numerous wrapper designs during the late 1920s and 1930s, and was a contributor to the leftist Slovak avant-garde journal DAV (1924-1937), for which he profiled the ŠUR. Not in KVK, OCLC.


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    €50.00

    New Year's greeting card: "pour féliciter 1968, groupe Lacoste (Tchécoslovaquie)." by Budík, Arnošt, Jiří Havlíček, Josef Kremláček, Václav Pajurek, et al

    [Brno]: self-published, 1968. Single leaf, oblong A5, printed to recto in blue. Very good. An apparently unrecorded New Year's greeting card by the Lacoste group, a Brno-based association of post-war Czech surrealist artists, who also issued the samizdat art periodical Styx from 1966 to 1969. The leaf contains basic information in French on the founding of the group, exhibits it helped to arrange in Czechoslovakia, as well as books and journals published by its members. Not in KVK, OCLC.


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    €200.00

    Amerikánštiny: pestrá sbírka zajímavostí, momentky z amerického života, zvláštnosti za mořem i na pevnině... [Americanisms: a collection of curiosities, moments of life in America, and peculiarities overseas and on the continent...]

    Králové Pole: Nová eská myšlenka, 1914. Octavo (22 × 13.5 cm). Original staple-stitched pictorial wrappers; 80 pp. About very good; rust to staples; small nick to head of spine. A most curious digest of articles on American customs, daily life, history, and psychology, as seen through the eyes of this little-known publisher from Moravia. The book contains excerpts from the author's other works, with titles such as How to Make Money or A Guide to Success, or Czech Americanism. The texts focus on topics such as working life and sexuality in America, the psychology of success, and the secrets of financial and personal success. With a suitably grotesque depiction of Uncle Sam on the cover (not attributed). Not found in KVK or OCLC.


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    €250.00

    Elegie [An elegy] by Žižka, Otokar and Bohdan Lacina, illustrator

    Vyškov na Morav: F. Obzina, 1932. Quarto (28 × 19.2 cm). Original printed wrappers; 55, [8] pp. Frontis illustration. Signed and inscribed by the author in the year of publication. Wrappers lightly creased; still about very good, in protective mylar. First edition of this book of verse, a revised edition of the "forgotten" volume "Tvář v plamenech" (The face in flames). Žižka (1907-1963) was a Czech writer and poet. With a preface by the Catholic modernist poet Jakub Deml. With overall typographic design (title and cover printed in black and blue) and a surrealist frontis drawing by Bohdan Lacina. Along with Josef Istler, Miloš Kořeček, Vilém Reichmann, Václav Tikal, and Václav Zykmund, Lacina was an early member of the post-war surrealist Ra Group (Skupina Ra). One of 225 copies, this copy no. 203 on milled "Antik." Outside the Czech Republic, KVK and OCLC only show the copies at Northwestern and Pennsylvania State.


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    €125.00

    Slováci a maďari: politicko-historická úvaha [Slovaks and Magyars: a political and historical essay] by Vacovský, Dr [= Milan Ivanka] and Slovenská líga v Amerike [Slovak League of America]

    Pittsburgh: Slovenský hlásník, 1914. Octavo (22.2 × 15 cm). Publisher's printed wrappers; 123, [1] pp. Two folding maps, measuring 20.5 × 48 cm. About very good; wrappers and spine extremities lightly worn and chipped; one map with small tear. First edition of this nationalist pro-Slovak history of the conflict between Slovak and Magyar settlers in modern day Slovakia, which was republished in 1923 in Bratislava. With two folding historical maps, on fine paper stock, also printed in Pittsburgh. Preface by Albert Mamatey, the president of the Slovak League of America. Scarce. No other copies in the trade as of January 2019.


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    €250.00

    Kam spěje Anglie? [Where Is Britain Going?] by Trockij, Lev and Bohumil Mathesius, translator

    Prague: Komunistické nakladatelství a knihkupectví v Praze, 1926. Octavo (19 × 14.2 cm). Original decorative wrappers; 173, [2] pp. Spine cocked; wrappers lightly discolored; still about very good. First and only separate edition in Czech of Trotsky's work, translated by Bohumil Mathesius, a prolific translator from a number of European languages, who also rendered the works of Aleksandr Blok and Vladimir Mayakovsky in Czech. It was first published in 1925 in Moscow, with US and British translations in 1925 and 1926 respectively. The rear wrappers feature a list of other publications by this important communist publisher, much of the output of which was confiscated throughout the 1930s. Among them works by Bukharin, Marx, Lenin, Plekhanov, Stalin, Trotsky, and Kamenev. KVK, OCLC only show the copy at the Czech National Library.


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    €150.00

    Tiché kyvadlo [The quiet pendulum].; Edice Start, sv. 3 by Tmé, Miroslav

    Brno: Nakladatel Joža Jícha, 1932. Octavo (21 × 14 cm). Original decorative wrappers by J. Keprt; 46, [2] pp. About very good; light soil and foxing to wrappers. Sarce book of poems with avant-garde typography by an undocumented regional designer. Little is known about the author, Miroslav Tmé (1909-1998), a teacher and literary critic from Brno, and the designer, one J. Keprt. KVK, OCLC only show the copy at the Czech National Library.


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    €1,000.00

    Jonáš: nepravidelník klubu spřízněných duší při divadle Semafor [Jonas: an irregular publication of the Club of Kindred Spirits at the Semafor Theatre], nos 1-33, 36-37 (all published) by Drozda, Zdeněk, Karel Hausenblas, and Jiří Gut, editors

    Prague: Semaforklub, 1971. Quartos (A4). Single leaves of differently colored stock, with mimeographed text to rectos and versos, stapled to upper left corner; most issues ca. 16-22 pp. About very good; a few first and last leaves detached from staple, but present. One of the issues features an original ticket to the sixth meeting of the Club, stapled to the last leaf. A nearly complete run (lacking only two issues) of the first series of this publication, a Czech samizdat journal which was forbidden by a court in 1971, along with the eponymous club. Its publication began in parallel with the inception of the Semafor Club in 1967, during the laxer political climate of the pre-Prague Spring months. The Semafor Theatre is an important cabaret theatre, founded in 1959 by the popular songwriter and actor duo Jiří Suchý und Jiří Šlitr. It was to be site for screening films, poetry readings, jazz performances, puppet theatre, dance, musical comedy, cabaret, and other "smaller forms." The theatre was inspired by the interwar tradition of the "Liberated Theatre" and would siimilarly become a major venue for pushing the limits of both the political and the artistic. Although the affiliated club was twice dissolved by the communist regime (in 1971 and 1986), both times it managed to circumvent the ban by renaming itself (Jonáš-Klub and J-Klub) and has continued to publish its journal under various titles until today. Started as a fanzine, 1969 and the early 1970s saw Jonáš take on the more important function of an underground periodical that could publish writings by individuals which were either banned from publishing, or that would not publish such politically bold articles in other organs of official culture. Though technically published only for club members, Jonáš became a highly sought semi-samizdat whose articles often had little to do with theatre. It is an intriguing example of the use of "internal bulletins" (which were legal to publish) as a subterfuge to reach a wider readership. Each issue features a governmental registration number, and after 1968 the added note: "only for members of the club, gratis." The print runs were low, probably never exceeding 500 copies during this period. The contributions are by Jiří Suchý, Jakub Deml, Miloš Macourek, Josef Bílek, Pavel Spunar, Jiří Novotný, Ludvík Vaculík, and countless others (including many shorter reviews and letters to the editors). The issues also contain numerous reports on activities at the club and the theatre, scheduled performances, lists of members' addresses, and much else, making it a key source on activities of this important collective. This publication is pictured and discussed in the recent reference work on Czech samizdat periodicals, Český literární samizdat: edice, časopisy, sborníky, 1949-1989 (Michal Přibáň et al., 2018), p. 38. We cannot locate the periodical in KVK or OCLC. The only issues appear to be held by Libri Prohibiti Library in Prague.


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