February 2, 2010

What The World Needs Now Is Mayakovsky's The Bedbug For Kids

mayakovsky_bedbug_jrms.jpg

We sure showed those Capitalists bastards, eh, Comrade? With the discovery of this awesome Soviet-era children's book version of a Bolshevik-era play, it's turning into Trotsky Tuesday around here.

These days, Will from Journey Round My Skull is on an illustrated bookbuying tear through Mother Russia [Yeah, capitalism!], and he just posted Klop (The Bedbug), adapted and illustrated in 1974 by George Kovenchuk from the 1928 play by Russian Futurist Vladimir Mayakovsky.

Near as I can tell [from this recap, The Bedbug is a sharp satire of early Soviet-style communism which tells the story of a bumbling, drunk proletarian named Prysipkin who gets buried and frozen alive in the aftermath of a wedding reception fire at his new mother-in-law's beauty parlor. Then he's discovered and thawed out 50 years later, only to wreak havoc on the Glorious Communist Future of 1979 by bringing a bedbug and alcohol with him. Eventually, he and the bedbug end up in a zoo?

So it's a little Austin Powers, a little Planet of the Apes, a little Somewhere In Time, a little Encino Man, and a little Solaris, with some Kafka sprinkled on top. And all communist! For the kids!

People, if this capitalist machine we've jacked ourselves into is worth a damn, I expect to see a crowdsourced English translation of this book available on Lulu.com by the end of the week. USA! USA! USA! USA!

We have captured a most rare specimen of an extinct insect which was extremely popular at the beginning of the century [journeyroundmyskull]

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