Na jehlach techto dni. [On the Needle of These Days]. Text by Jindrich Heisler. Photographs by Jindrich Strysky. Fr. Borovy v Praze, Praha, 1945.
First edition with printed images, following the clandestine 1941 edition with original tipped-in photographs (published while Czechoslovakia was a Protectorate under Nazi occupation). Typography by Karel Teige. Octavo. Photo-
stiff wrappers. 64 pp. with twenty-nine rich gravure plates.
Styrsky was a seminal artist of the Czech avant-garde, and he co-founded the Surrealist Group in Prague in the mid-thirties. The photographs in this book, which were taken in 1934-35, are a perfectly-seen cross between surrealism and Atget; subjects include store window displays, antique objects, masks, mannequins, statuary, folk art displays, etc. In Roth, The Book of 101 Books, it is arguably described as a "mediation on war and resistance" and as "Atget in the village of the damned." Increasingly scarce; a haunting collection of cohesive images.
A near fine copy of a fragile book with minor flaws: the usual scattered light offsetting from the gravures onto the facing blank pages, minor rubbing at ends of spine and corners, tanning at very top edge of covers, a 1 3/4 inch small separation at top between binding and page (at page 16) and a small (less than 1/4 inch) rubbed spot on one image.