fight of obstinate visionaries

by Jesse Marinoff Reyes ( Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design, Maplewood, N.J.)

The Lonely Rebels
Golden Griffin Books/Arts Inc., 1951
Design: Ladislav Sutnar

Jesse Marinoff Reyes Design

Collecting three novelettes—Mister Lorenz, The Revolt in Liossa, The Mission—by Czech literary exile Egon Hostovsky (1908-1973). “The predominant motif in all three is the fight of obstinate visionaries against the prisons and jailers of a wretched world, in which only dreams manage to retain the semblance of human happiness, dignity, freedom and justice.” Hostovsky has been compared to Christopher Isherwood.

The book’s design (an unusual 7 1/8″ square) and jacket cover were done by fellow Czech emigré Ladislav Sutnar (1897-1976). According to Steven Heller’s bio of Sutnar on the AIGA web page: “Like Jan Tschichold, Sutnar synthesized European avant-gardisms, which he said ‘provided the base for further extension of new design vocabulary and new design means,’ into a functional commercial lexicon that eschewed formalistic rules or art for art’s sake. While he modified aspects of the New Typography, he did not compromise its integrity in the same way that elements of Swiss Neue Grafik became mediocre through mindless usage over time.” Incidentally, did you know Sutnar was responsible for the development of the area code for the old Bell System?

For more on Heller’s bio on Sutnar:

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