Publications of Israel London. Checklist - One
David Mazower originally published his checklist of the publications of the printer and publisher Israel London on the Mendele list in 2002. With his permission I present here an update of that list which includes illustrations, additional physical details about the books and information about the illustrators largely in the form of useful external links. This post includes the first two portions of David's four parts. These are:
A. Der kval imprints
B. Other Yiddish titles published by Israel London
C. Other Yiddish books printed by the Marstin Press
D. Titles in languages other than Yiddish
New to the checklist is a Section E. which includes publications of the original Der Kval (1919-1921) along with illustrations of a few of the titles. I would like to thank Zachary Baker and Anna Levia, both of Stanford University Libraries, for help with the scans of Kafka's Der Protses and several other titles that appear in parts C, D and E. I would also like to thank David Mazower for images of Singer's Mayn Tattns Beys Din Shtub as well as a few other titles credited in place.
I have copies of many of these titles for sale. If the entry for the item concludes with a price the title can be purchased from hollanderbooks.com. Orders can also be placed by telephone - 415-831-3228.
Bashevis, Yitskhok, [Singer, Isaac Bashevis]. Mayn tatns bezdn shtub [My Fathers Court]. New York, Der Kval, 1956. Octavo, boards, 359 pp. Image provided by David Mazower.
Shneyer, Zalmen [Shneour, Zalman]. Der mamzer [The Bastard]. New York, Der Kval, 1957. Octavo, green cloth with gold lettering, 327 pp. $40.00 [$30.00 for a lesser copy].
Agnon, Sh.-Y. A poshete mayse [A Simple Story]. Translated from Hebrew by Eliezer Rubinstein. Illustrated by Yosl Bergner. New York, Der Kval, 1958. Octavo, illustrated buckram covered boards with red lettering and the illustration in black, 291 pp. (Limited edition of 1208 copies). $40.00
Hemingvey, Ernest [Hemingway, Ernest]. Der alter un der yam [The Old Man and the Sea]. First Yiddish Edition. Translated from English by Meyer Shtiker. Illustrated by Leonard Baskin. New York, Der Kval, 1958. Octavo, yellow cloth with Baskin's portrait of Hemingway on the front board and repeated on the title page, 135 pp, additional illustrations within the story. (Limited edition of 1105 copies). This title, while a beautiful effort seems a tad on as the story has strong Christological symbolism. See the amusing Thug-Notes analysis on this story. $250.00 [copy signed by Baskin].
Leyvik, H. [Leivick, H.]. Lider tsum eybik. [Songs to the Eternal]. New York, Der Kval, 1959. Octavo, quarter black cloth with gold lettering on a black panel on the spine, red cloth covered boards with the title in a black panel in gold ink, frontispiece portrait, 159 pp., b/w drawings (and other illustrated elements) by Benn. $35.00
Pat, Yankev. Shmuesn mit shrayber in yisroel [Chats with Writers in Israel], New York, Der Kval, 1960. Octavo, tan cloth with blue lettering, 277 pp.These articles originally appeared in Der Goldener Keyt, Tel Aviv and Der Tsukunft, New York. $25.00
Fuks, A.-M. Di nakht un der tog [Night and Day]. Illustrated by Benn. New York, Der Kval, 1961. Octavo white cloth spine with black lettering and black cloth covered boards with white lettering, 287 pp., frontispiece drawing by Benn and headpieces for each chapter. With "A Vort funem Farlag," by Israel London at the end of the book. $40.00 [$25.00 for a worn copy].
Glatshteyn, Yankev. Di freyd fun yidishn vort [The Joy of the Yiddish Word]. Illustrated by Binyomin Kopman. New York, Der Kval 1961. Octavo, blue cloth spine with a red leather label with gold lettering, green cloth covered boards with gold lettering against a blue panel, 208 pp., b/w illustrations. $35.00
Sutskever, Avrom. Gaystike erd [Spiritual Soil]. Illustrated by Artur Kolnik. New York, Der Kval, 1961. Octavo, brown cloth spine, buckram covered boards with a brown cloth panel at the center of the front board, 132 pp., woodcut illustrations by Kolnik. Kolnik's impressive work is little known in the United States. Wikipedia entries exist for him in Polish and German. I have done my best to translate a machine translation of the German entry into real English. For the footnotes check there. My improved version is as follows:
"Arthur Kolnik (1890-1972 in Paris ) was a Galician-Jewish illustrator and painter. His paintings and expressionist woodcuts show the shapes and images of Eastern European Jewry and the shtetls now destroyed by the Holocaust.
Arthur Kolnik father was Lithuanian and his mother was Viennese. After visiting the school in Stanisławów he studied from 1908 to 1914 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow . He worked in the studio of the painter and graphic artist Józef Mehoffer. During the First World War, he took a commission as an officer of the Austro-Hungarian army. He was wounded in 1916 and found himself Vienna hospital. It was there that he had a defining meeting with the painter Isidor Kaufmann.
After 1981 Kolnik moved to Chernivtsi [Czernovitz]. He was part of a circle of friends there with the Yiddish writers Eliezer Steinbarg and Itzik Manger, and Rose Auslander. In November 1918 he took part in an art exhibition at the Crafts Museum of Chernivtsi. In 1920 and 1921 he was in New York along with fellow artist and friend, the painter Reuven Rubin. Both exhibited in the Anderson Galleries curated then by Alfred Stieglitz. He returned to Chernivtsi in 1921. Kolnik illustrated a Yiddish textbook of Eliezer Steinbarg and exhibited in the Chernivtsi Art Association shows from 1922. Another exhibition followed in 1926 and in 1928 he produced a portfolio of woodcuts illustrating fables by Steinbarg. In 1929 he produced a number of portraits of Itzik Manger.
Kolnik's later life was spent in Paris. He settled there in 1931 with his first wife and two children. He worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for fashion magazines. In his spare time he created woodcuts. He maintained his connection to Czernowitz. After Eliezer Steinbarg's death in 1932 he produced a memorial volume of Steinbarg's fables for which he provided the woodcuts. Kolnik designed the grave stones for Steinbarg and for Itzik Manger's mother in the Jewish cemetery of Chernivtsi. In the years 1933 and 1934 he printed woodcuts. In 1935 Kolnik exhibited in Buenos Aires and in 1936 an edition of Fables by Steinbarg with 109 woodcuts by Kolnik appeared in Chernivtsi. In 1938 Kolnik worked at the German-French magazine Verbe - Cahiers Humans, edited by Maximilien Rubel.
Between 1940 and 1944 Kolnik was interned with his family in a camp for stateless persons. After the end of World War II he republished illustration in 1946, 1948 and 1949. In 1948, he acquired French citizenship. He became a member of the Association of Jewish painters and sculptors in France and received the Prix Chabanin 1952 in New York. In 1959 he illustrated a collection of poetry by the Yiddish poet Moses Schulstein. In 1960 and 1961 he illustrated books by Jehiel Hofer and Abraham Sutzkever that appeared in Tel Aviv and New York. In 1962 his first wife died. Later he married again. His second wife was the painter Ezra Kolnik. 1966 followed with further illustrations. A monograph on Kolnik was published in 1967 by the art historian Maximilien Gauthier. A year later, he presented over 130 works at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, of which nearly 70 were oil paintings. In 1969 his edition of illustrated fables by Eliezer Steinbarg was reissued in Tel Aviv. Kolnik died in Paris in 1972.
"Arthur Kolnik is indeed been an intellectual who had many intellectual friends, but he believed in a specific Jewish art, influenced by traditional Judaism, and he also drew motifs from Jewish life since his first brush strokes. [...] When peace again returned the Jewish tragedy was revealed in all its hellish size and since 1945 the martyrdom of his people has been the main source of his inspiration. [...] In the depths of his soul he feels that he has the mission to tell in shapes and colors, to tell in paint, the everyday life of the villages of his youth, the Jewish children who dressed up for Purim, the musicians, the badkhens at Jewish weddings, the mothers lighting the Shabbat candles, a bride in tears under the wedding canopy, the old synagogue of wood, set alight, standing in flames, and that exists only in his memory. " - H. Gamzu: Foreword accompanying an exhibition by Kolnik in December 1968." See German Wikipedia. $50.00 inscribed. $35.00 for an uninscribed copy.
Glants-Leyeles, Arn. [Glanz-Leyeles, Aaron]. Amerike un ikh [America and I]. Illustrated by Yoysef Foshko. New York, Der Kval, 1963. Octavo, half blue and half red cloth covered boards with printed white labels on the spine and front panel with gold lettering, 127 pp, b/w illustrations by Foshko. Foshko's talent is high-lighted in the very different styles of his title page illustration and of the illustration from inside the book. This is one of my favorites. $40.00
Reuveni, A. Yerushalayim in shotn fun shverd [Jerusalem in the Shadow of the Sword]. New York, Der Kval, 1963. Octavo, blue and white cloth with white and blue lettering, 220 pp. With a short chapter at the rear by Israel London entitled, "Etlekhe Verter." $30.00
Hazaz, Khayem. Der taykh geyt [The River Flows]. Translated Hebrew edition, Hagorat mazalot: sipurim, by Leyb Olitski. New York, Der Kval, 1964. Octavo, purple cloth spine with a white panel on the spine and gold lettering, reddish-orange cloth covered boards with design in white and blue ink, illustrated title page, 296 pp. $40.00
Shtiker, Meyer. Der kholem iz mayn eydes [The Dream is My Witness]. New York, Der Kval, 1965. Octavo, green cloth spine with gold lettering on a small black panel, yellow cloth covered boards with gold lettering against a green panel, frontispiece drawing and two additional full page drawings by Moses Soyer, 110 pp. $30.00
Kafka, Frants [Kafka, Franz]. Der protses [The Trial]. Translated from German by Meylekh Ravitsh. Ilustrated by Yosl Bergner. New York, Der Kval, 1966. Octavo, pink cloth with black spine lettering, 239 pp., b/w illustrations (and cover design?) by Yosl Bergner. (Limited edition of 1000 copies).
B. Other Yiddish titles published by Israel London in Paris and New York, 1935-1954
Berliner, Yitskhok. [Berliner, Isaac]. Gezang fun mentsh [Human Song]. Illustrated by Yoni Fayn. Mexico/New York, [no publisher given; printed by London], 1954. Octavo, wide yellow cloth spine with blue lettering and an illustration which is repeated larger in size on the title page by Yoni Fayn, blue cloth covered boards,158 pp. Fayn was a poet as well as an artist. At the time that he produced the work for this book he was in Mexico City. He came to New York in 1956 perhaps with the aid of London. In Mexico he was associated with Diego Rivera. $40.00 [$25.00 for a lesser copy].
[Lönnrot, Elias, compiled by.] Kalevala; folks epos fun di finen [Kalevala; Folk Epic of the Finns]. Translated into Yiddish from the Finnish [?, or perhaps through an intermediary language] by Hersh Rozenfeld. Illustrations by Chaim Gross, Leo Michelson, I. Shloss and Alex London. New York: [no publisher given, printed by Marstin Press], 1954. Octavo, printed orange cloth over a quarter white cloth spine lettered in red, portrait of Lönnrot, 184 [+3] pp., glossary, b/w illustrations. $35.00
Pariz [Paris] Paris,1935 (a weekly Yiddish newspaper published by London and edited [?] by Sh.L. Shnayderman) (Note: The YIVO library has three issues of this publication [12 April 1935, 19 April 1935, 18 October 1935]).
Naye Prese. (a daily newspaper, published ca. 1937; a front page is reproduced in the advertisement for the newspaper in the guidebook Pariz; not seen) Pariz / yidish hant-bukh, veg-vayzer un firer, tseykhenungen [illustrated]: M. Bahelfer, Paris: Naye prese, 1937. 192 pp. + map. (Note: a guide to Paris covering both general information and the Jewish community; cover montage and graphics by the Vilna-born artist and illustrator M. Bahelfer [Moyshe Beygl] , 1908 - 1995]).