Brno: Exod, 1935. Third edition. Hardcover. SIGNED. 165pp. Octavo [22.5 cm] in light brown cloth. Boards are crisp and unworn, with a tiny red smudge to front board. This appears to be a rebound copy of the paperback original, with original wraps present within (French flaps apparently trimmed off). It differs from the paperback in that the top edge is dyed black, the glassine sheets protecting the illustrations are bound in, not laid in, and the textblock has been trimmed at foot by a depth of about 1 cm. Illustrated with 15 woodcuts by the author. Fine. Item #50396
Signed by Bochorakova-Dittrichova in pencil on title page. From an edition of 200 copies.
An illustrated account of the author's travels to Leningrad, St. Petersburg, Moskow, Kharkiv, and Kiev. Bochorakova-Dittrichova also devotes a chapter each to a collective farm and the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station.
Helena Bochorakova-Dittrichova (1894-1980) was the first female wordless novelist and the only woman to work in this medium during its heyday. She was born in the Moravian region of what is now the Czech Republic and spent most of her life in Brno, the Moravian capital. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and in 1923 received a government scholarship to study printmaking in Paris. Bochorakova-Dittrichova's unpublished wordless novel Malirka Na Cestach [The Artist on Her Journey] recounts this period in her life. In Paris, she first encountered the wordless novels of Flemish artist Frans Masereel, the originator of the form, and was inspired to create her own. Over the course of her long career, Bochorakova-Dittrichova published several wordless novels, along with travelogues and historical works. She also worked as a printmaker and illustrator, and was highly regarded in her native land, though largely unknown elsewhere. This changed in 2014, when the National Museum of Women in the Arts held an exhibition of her work entitled "The First Woman Graphic Novelist: Helena Bochorakova-Dittrichova," and this important artist finally began to gain global recognition. Her work, however, is still not widely available.