Prague: various, 1932–1947. Item #5261
This collection comprises all published book-length works by Bohuslav Brouk (1912–1978), aside from a volume published in exile and later works that appeared in samizdat form. A Czech psychoanalyst, philosopher, art theoretician, and writer, Brouk was one of the first promoters of Freud’s work in Czechoslovakia. He was
a close friend of Karel Teige and a co-founder of the Czech Surrealist Group in 1934. Considered one of the most original minds of the Czech avant-garde, he was also seen as its enfant terrible. Brouk’s postscript
for Štyrský’s Emily Comes to Me in a Dream (1933), a defense of erotic literature, revealed his great interest in sexual freedom, individual creativity, and modern artistic tendencies. His research in the early 1930s focused on topics such as masturbation, sexology, and fetishes, and his works were often censored. With a trenchant wit and rhetorical talent, he set out to destroy what he saw as everyday myths that make a meaningless existence bearable: ethics, work, sport, and marriage, among others. After the war, he was an outstanding public critic of communist ideology and fled the country after the 1948 coup.
Most remarkable among this group are the six smaller pamphlets privately published as gifts to Brouk’s friends and never offered for sale. They feature striking cover designs by Toyen, Štyrský, and erný. The wrappers of Brouk’s Bilance psychoanalysy are illustrated with the first reproductions (and apparently the only use in print) of two surrealist erotic collages from Štyrský cycle “St hovací kabinet“ (“The portable cabinet,” 1934); Bludnost jedné p edstavy also bears a fine photo- montage design, by the painter Karel erný. A complete list, with condition descriptions and OCLC counts, can be supplied.