Books - Russian impressionism museum
Размер шрифта
Цветовая схема
Межбуквенный интервал
Межстрочный интервал
Version for the visually impaired

Books, 1914-1918

David Davidovich Burliuk


Milk of Mares. Moscow. 1914

The most productive years for David Burliuk-writer were 1913 and 1914, when collections of "A Trap for Judges II", "A Breviary of the Three", "The Dead Moon", "Roaring Parnassus" and others were published. More interesting one is not only literary, but also from an artistic point of view, the collection "Milk of Mares", printed in the amount of four hundred copies. There were forty-three poems Burliuk, mostly on the lyrical topics.

Despite the specified place of the edition — "the city of Moscow" — actually the book was printed in Kherson. As for the year of the collection's release, David Burliuk wrote in his memoirs: "When Marusya [the artist's wife] was still lying in bed after the childbirth [it was the last decade of August 1913], there were hand etchings of "Mare's Milk" drying on her bed, which collection they had just started to print." Such authors participated in the book: Vladimir Mayakovsky, Burliuk’s brothers, Nikolai and Vladimir, Alexandra Exter, Aleksei Kruchenykh, and Velimir Khlebnikov. The working title of the collection was "Miristel", the name of the forest elf, invented by Khlebnikov. But in the end the book came out under a more audacious title.

Each copy of the collection is decorated with an image of a running naked woman, often depicted upside down. These figures, not printed, but painted in colored ink by hand, were executed either by David Burliuk himself or by his brother Vladimir. Moreover, in all copies one of the internal pages is decorated with semi-abstract composition in the same technique.

Balding Tail. Moscow. 1918-1919

The legendary collection "Balding Tail" withstood three editions in two years. The first version of the book includes twenty-eight poems by David Burliuk. The authorial layout, Burliuk illustrated himself and made a brochure manually. 25-paged collection was provided with inserts with small drawings-vignettes, made with ink on white or blue paper. The absurdist poetry, collected in the "Balding tail", is united by the theme of the collapse and the subsequent revival of the new world.

Poetry of David Burliuk went to quotes:

“A pregnant man…”

“We’ll eat emptiness…”

"Poetry is a frayed wench…»

A line from the poem “Little Devil” gave the title to the collection:

Life is closing its tightness,

Just one indignant fasting’s for me,

I’ll drown in fresh dampness,

My balding tail will be eaten by me.

In a letter to Theodore Grits Burliuk wrote that the first batch of "Balding tail" was sold out very quickly, and soon they had to print the book in Kurgan. Burliuk claimed that the collection came out quite a large circulation of 2000 copies. Perhaps, this figure is somewhat exaggerated, as the artist was inclined to mythmaking. Today, the "Balding tail" is a bibliographic unicity, and its first handmade version is a real rarity.