[Warsaw]: Farlag "Khalyastre" 1922. First edition. Softcover. Quarto. 72pp. Housed in a modern black chemise. Tan paper wrappers with avant-garde modernist typography on the front cover (by Yitskhok Broyner?) and a small illustration on the back cover, both in black. The scarce first "almanac" (issue) of only two ever published of this legendary literary and art magazine/journal, by the Yiddish avant-garde collective "Di Khalyastre" (The Gang).
Edited by writer I.J. Singer (1893- 1944) and poet Peretz Markish (1895-1952), the magazine contains contributions from the previously mentioned two, as well as Melech Ravitch (1893-1976), Joseph Opatoshu (1886-1954), Uri Zvi Greenberg (1896-1981), H. Leivick (1888-1962), Aaron Leyeles-Glantz (1889-1966), David Hofstein (1889-1952), artist and sculptor Joseph Chaikov (1889-1979), and Itzik Kipnis (1896-1974), among other members of the Yiddish avant-garde. Accompanying the text throughout are original lithographic b/w illustrations by Marc Chagall, in a style similar to much of his classic work of the period. These images include some larger titled images, as well as some repeated small vignettes of a horse-drawn cart which serve as illustrated tailpieces throughout the text (also on the back cover). The first page contains a striking futurist illustration in black by Yitskhok Broyner, captioned underneath with a short poem by Moshe Broderzon.
Di Khalyastre (The Gang) was one of the major Yiddish avant-garde groups in Poland, in the interwar period, active between 1920 and 1924. Its membership included prominent literary figures such as Peretz Markish, Uri Zvi Greenberg and Melech Ravitch. Their aim was to merge the modern secular Jewish culture with the avant-garde movements of the day, including expressionism and futurism, to construct a new lay culture in the Yiddish-speaking world. In terms of the poetry, The Gang "preferred rhythmic tautness and explosiveness to rounded, melodious verses". The “Gang's" origins lay in very first Polish-Yiddish avant-garde movement, “Yung-Yidish” co-founded by poet Moyshe Broderzon, who was a friend of Markish. By 1924 the group had disbanded do political and personal infighting among the members, who had become dispersed across Europe.
Text throughout printed in Yiddish in single and double-column formats.
Wrappers with staining to covers, as well as some chipping, closed tears and creasing to extremities. Interior with some minor age toning to pages as well as some sporadic light water stains and/or smudges to a few pages throughout. Wrappers in good-, interior in very good- condition overall. Protected in modern mylar. Scarce. g- to vg-. Item #48245
Yiddish title: כאלאסטרע or כאליאסטרע
Alternate transliterations: Khaliastre or Chaliastre
This work was the first issue of only two ever published by Di Khalyastre. The second issue (also scarce) was published two years later in Paris, under the auspices of Markish and group member Oyzer Varshavski. It also contained original illustrations from Marc Chagall.
*There is a variant printing of this first issue, with a different cover design in red.