"Without censorship"


Oblako v shtanakh. Tetraptikh

[A Cloud in Trousers. A Tetraptich.]

Publication: [ASIS, Moskva], 1918.

MAYAKOVSKY, Vladimir, Oblako v shtanakh. Tetraptikh

One of the great poems of Mayakovsky, here in its full version without cut-outs. A fine copy, in the original wrappers.

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Our Notes & References

First edition with the unexpurgated original text, the second overall following a substantially censored first edition in 1915.

Before the 1917 revolution Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) had been a “regular scandal-maker” (his own words) of the Futurist school, but by 1918 his revolutionary voice found endorsement in this uncensored edition of his key poem and first major work.

The poem was composed in a fit of frustrated love for artist Maria Denisova, imploding into a rage at the world. His introduction touts the text as a “catechism for contemporary art”, and restores his titles for each of the previously unnamed quadrants of the work: “Down with your love”, “Down with your art”, “Down with your system”, and “Down with your religion.”

Scarce. The 1915 censored version appears in a bare handful of auction records, but this 1918 version appears to be even rarer, with no other copy recorded at auction. WorldCat gives 6 locations worldwide. Copies are known with and without the “uncensored” label to the front wrapper, with no priority established (or maybe did the label fall off sometimes?).


Robert Eden Martin (b. 1940; American lawyer and noted collector of Russian, British and American literature works)

Item number



Physical Description

Octavo, titles to front and rear, edition label to front wrapper as issued.


Original yellow wrappers, housed in a black cloth flat-back box.


Chipping to spine backing, light creasing and nicks at wrapper extremities, front wrapper expertly reattached, splits to rear joint ends.

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