Complete 1st year of Latvian avant-garde magazine »Tribīne«, 1931-1932

TRIBĪNE [The Tribune]. Revolucionārās kultūras žurnāls [Revolutionary Cultural Journal]. 1st year, nos. 1-4, 5/6 (complete). Lino-cut cover design by Ernest Kāļis. Rigā: 1931-32.

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TRIBĪNE [The Tribune]. Revolucionārās kultūras žurnāls [Revolutionary Cultural Journal]. Published by Linards Lāicens. Edited by Jānis Bušs. 1st year, nos. 1 (28th May, 1931), 2 (10th Aug. 1931), 3 (29th Sept. 1931), 4 (10th. Sept., 1931), 5/6 (20. Jan. 1932). Lino-cut cover design by Ernest Kāļis. Rigā: Latvju Kultura 1931-32.

15,3:23 cm. 47 [1] pp (nos. 1-4); 79 [1] (no. 5/6). Original stapled publisher’s wrappers with black linocut cover illustration and title on cream stock.

Complete set of this 1st year of »Tribīne«, a most important magazine of the highly productive left-wing Latvian avant-garde movement.

Content: Present 1st year of »Tribine« unites literary texts (sometimes typeset with experimental typography), as well as essays and notes particularly about the arts, literature and politics, mainly contributions by publisher Linards Lāicens and the most prominent authors of the Latvian avant-garde movement, like Andrejs Kurcijs, Leons Paegle. Many of the Latvian authors were signing with monograms, pseudonyms or not at all to prevent troubles with the authorities. Also included are texts by congenial foreign socialist writers like Henri Barbusse, Johannes R. Becher, Ludwig Renn and Maksim Gorki.

Publishing history: »Tribine« was published between 1931 and 1933 in a total of 12 issues, incorporated in 12 numbers (1st year: nos. 1-4 (1931), 5/6 (January 1932); 2nd year: nos. 1-4 (1932), 5/6 (January 1933); 3rd year: no. 1 (June 1933) and no. 2. As a follow-up periodical to the banned magazine »Kreisā Fronte«, »Tribīne« was even more suppressed by the authorities than it’s predecessor. According to Fraser several issues of the magazine were confiscated and destroyed upon publication, which is why collecting a complete set, or even complete years like the present, is nowadays a difficult enterprise indeed. In 1933 the magazine was finally shut down.

Illustration: The magazine’s cover linocut is designed by Latvian and Soviet avant-garde artist Ernest Kālis (1904-39), showing a clear but nevertheless autonomous reference to Kassáks »Bildarchitektur«. Kālis also acted as art director for the the predecessor of »Tribīne«, the periodical »Kreisā Fronte« (see pos. 9-11 of this list). Though text illustrations in »Tribine« are rare they are nevertheless remarkable, e.g. a striking lino-cut (presumably by Samuils Haskins) illustrating the title page of issue no. 5/6 (1932).

Condition: Issue no 1 with some small faults at edges and corners, covers of nos. 1, 2 and 4 slightly creased and worn, margins in parts minimally torn, paper slightly time-stained, otherwise well preserved copy of this fragile magazine.

Rarity: Due to it's publishing history particularly rare, even in single issues. The only holding of a complete set of »Tribine« in institutional holdings worldwide is in possession of the Latvian National Library. Apart from this no complete year is traceable. OCLC and KVK however show single issues at MOMA, The Frick Art Reference Libary (New York) and Waseda UL (nos. 1 and 2 (1931), 2,3 and 5/6 (1932).

Reference: Fraser: Publishing and Book Design in Latvia 1919-1940, 2014, p. 126f.

Additional information

Weight 2 kg