Latvian avantgarde Tanka like poetry illustrated by Vidbergs

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ŠVĀBE, Arveds: Gong-Gong. Tankas. Cover design and 15 full-paged illustrations based on ink drawings by Sigismunds Vidbergs. Rīga: Vaiņags 1922.

ŠVĀBE, Arveds: Gong-Gong. Tankas. Cover design and 15 full-paged illustrations based on ink drawings by Sigismunds Vidbergs. Rīga: Vaiņags 1922. 11,3:14,1 cm, 64 [2] p. Original stapled wrappers with black decorative title printing on white stock.

First edition (2nd was published in 1989) of this cycle of short poems by Latvian modernist writer and editor Arveds Švābe, inspired by Tanka (短歌), a genre of classical Japanese poetry. The little booklet is elaborately designed and richly illustrated by Sigismunds Vidbergs, member of the »Rīga Activist«, the most notorious Latvian avant-garde movement around writers like Linards Lāicens and Andrejs Kurcijs as well as artists like Niklavs Strunke. „One might easily pass over the unassuming cover … but the illustrations by Vidbergs convey a sophistication looking beyond the problems of the day … (Fraser).

Cover in parts slightly foxy and with some minor stains, otherwise well preserved copy of this scarce item. OCLC and KVK show only three copies worldwide at Stabi Berlin, BSB and Columbia University. Latvian National Library also has a holding.

Fraser, p. 65, L87-90 (5 illustr.); Bernett: Latvian Avant-Garde, no. 22.

Additional information

Weight 1 kg