Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Soviet Publishing

Yesterday afternoon I paid a visit to the People's Co-op Bookstore with an architect friend who had never spent much time in the store and knew nothing of its history. After a quick orientation I asked him what could be done to make the store more inviting, and because he is that kind of architect, he wanted to know more.

Above the shelves sit a number of books the store had ordered since its inception in 1945. So I showed him these books and he was amazed not only at their content but their design. Mid-1970s souvenir books of the Siberian city of Irkutsk filled with matte finished photographs rephotographed and printed on high gloss paper; 1960s anthologies of Soviet Stories illustrated with wood block prints; 1950s textbooks on paediatric osteopathy.

But the books that grabbed our attention were those from the very early 1980s, one of which, Vic Schneierson's 1982 English translation of Georgi Shakhnazarov's Futurology Fiasco: A Critical Study of Non-Marxist Concepts of How Society Develops (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1980) I cracked last night before settling into bed.

For anyone interested in these books, most of them can be found at the west end of the store. They are reasonably priced, and worth it for their design alone.

Here is another:

No comments:

Post a Comment