Demian Bedny: Basni

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1965
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Book, Whole
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The eBay seller advertised this as Soviet Era, and that provides a first tip. A second tip comes on the title-page with a beautiful illustration of a wolf dressed up in formal human clothes and a lambskin over it all. The fables are dated and illustrated with partial-page illustrations of either two or many colors. For example, one finds a gorgeous multi-colored illustration on 9 of a female fox having her hand kissed by a formally dressed wolf (?) while a dog looks on in front of a cooked chicken. The dates run up to 1944, where a final picture punctuates the volume: A Russian soldier in red stands out in front of bombed-out ruins. His foot is on a snake whose skin is covered with swastikas and whose fangs form a swastika. The snake's head has the features of Adolph Hitler. Several of the multi-colored illustrations stand out as exquisite. A peasant accosts a noble dressed dog (?) on 14. A primitive man devours in greedy, uncouth fashion a huge banquet on 20. Poor people pour coins into the poorbox fixed to an orthodox priest's back on 29, while he swings around a golden incense burner. There is more about Bedny in a fascinating little 1974 Reclam edition of his poems and fables.
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Detskaya Literatura
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