the cry of distant ants.
Toronto: imprimerie dromadaire, 1978. Octavo, 24.7 x 17.3 cm. In five-hole Japanese stab binding (a variation of the traditional Yotsume toj), with dark tan Fabriano Ingres paper covers; covers and spine decorated with a linocut of an ant, blocked in silver. Housed in a portfolio, with matching Fabriano Ingres paper covered boards, printed paper label to the upper cover, decorated Japanese endpapers, and brown silk ties; the portfolio bears the bookplate of Hugh Barclay, proprietor of Thee Hellbox Press, to the inside of the lower cover; curiously, the bookplate has been affixed upside down. All edges untrimmed. Unpaginated [pp. 36]. A fine copy. The text was set in Palatino, and its accompanying italic, with Egyptian Bold Condensed in red for display; printed on Nideggen paper. Illustrated with 10 linocuts by Goluska, printed in silver; one (the title vignette) repeats thrice. One of 50 unnumbered copies.
Accompanied by the original prospectus; single sheet, 24.3 x 16 cm., printed on the recto only. Uniform in style with the book which it advertises, with Palatino and Egyptian Bold condensed used for type, and printed on Nideggen paper. Illustrated with a linocut of an ant, this time appearing in
black. Item #143
Alexandr Urusov was a member of SMOG, an underground circle of Muscovite poets and writers who produced samizdat publications in the mid sixties and helped to organize the Glasnost demonstration in response to the Sinyavsky–Daniel trial. There are several interpretations of the SMOG acronym, our favourite being Szhatyj Mig Otrazhennoi Giperboly or Condensed Moment of Reflected Hyperbole.
The Cry of Distant Ants first appeared in 1965 in a samizdat issued by SMOG. It was reproduced the following year in Grani, a Frankfurt based periodical which published literary and dissident works by Russian émigrés. The present translation is by Glenn Goluska.
The Cry of Distant Ants was the first book produced under the imprimerie dromadaire imprint. “It was a Russian underground publication that I had read when I was studying Russian. I did linocuts for it. I didn’t know what I was doing. I remember when Paul Duensing reviewed it for The Devil’s Artisan, he commented on the fact that Egyptian Bold Condensed and Palatino were not a usual combination. And we also did a Japanese binding because it was prose and I had enough type for two pages. So rather than doing signature spreads where I would have to accurately cast off, with a Japanese binding I could set two pages at a time and just keep going in order, not worrying about imposition. Anne did the binding.”
- Glenn Golusa, Glenn Goluska in Toronto (Kentville, Nova Scotia: Gaspereau Press, 2016.).