July 24, 2004

Children's books of the early Soviet era
  • Some of these illustrations are delightful -- thanls, dng for these glimpses into a vanished world.
  • The emblematic use of red and black as dominant colours linked the children's material closely to the publishing output at large. Would one of our Russophiles care to expand on this? When I think of Soviet agitprop, I do think of great blocks of red and black. But why? Red for Communism, black for ...? /ig'nant
  • Good question, goetter. I'd assumed it was due to not very sophisticated presses in some European countries. Quite a number of kids books even into the 1940s were still being printed in very limited colour ranges, including black and red -- but it may have been wartime/postwar restrictions which so limited some of the works to which I was exposed in my early years.
  • Good discussion at last year's MeFi thread (with more links). Anyone who likes kids' books will want to explore the International Children's Digital Library, and anyone interested in Russian books from 80-90 years ago will enjoy MOMA's The Russian Avant-Garde Book (I still lust after the catalog).
  • I hadn't seen that thread. Cheers, languagehat