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Twisted Spoon Press

PO Box 21 - Preslova 12, 150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic

Book details:
On the Needles

w/ belly band

[ excerpt ]

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series: special editions

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  on the needles of these days

by Jindřich Heisler & Jindřich Štyrský

translated from the Czech by Jed Slast

Combining visual artist Jindřich Štyrský’s photographs from the 1930s with an extended prose poem by fellow Surrealist Jindřich Heisler, On the Needles of These Days was originally published clandestinely in Nazi-occupied Prague in 1941 as a samizdat edition of very few copies. While Štyrský’s photos capture the daily marvelous of shop windows, mannequins, masks, wigs, prostheses, flea markets, and fairground iconography, Heisler’s text responding to the images can be read as an allusive appeal to resistance and hope. Admired by Věra Linhartová as “an analogous process where the word reiterates the image and modulates it by its own means,” it is one of the major collaborative works of Czech Surrealism.


For [Štyrský] reality becomes a cruel, harrowing phantom ...

— Karel Teige

On the Needles of These Days is both a regretful evocation of disintegration and a call to arms, a simultaneous espousal of the pessimism and the activism that has always formed an essential dialectic within surrealism.

— Ian Walker, co-author of
Surrealism and Photography in Czechoslovakia


ISBN 9788088628040
13 x 18 cm, 62 pp., cloth
30 b/w photographs
printed on 150g Munken Print
limited edition of 700
prose poetry : photography : surrealism

publication: February 2024

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also available
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Shakespeare & Sons
Franz Kafka Bookshop

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