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Ottoman Macabre Novels – Izmir Imprint / Ephemera / Silent Movies: باراباس [Barabas]


An exceedingly rare complete ephemeral series of the Ottoman version of Maurice Level’s macabre story Barabas, based on the silent movie from 1919 was issued in Izmir.


10 volumes, each 8°, 158 pp. continuous pagination, each volume with an illustrated cover, illustrated pink wrappers attached to the first volume, new staples (lightly age-toned, stained and water-stained, white margins with small tears and loss of paper, old postal stamps and pale rubber stamps, mostly on the covers, small pieces cut out in blank white margins (cut-out coupons), margins sporadically cut into the upper margins with a loss of numeration, but without a loss of text)


1 in stock


This unusual, charming and crudely printed ephemeral set of 10 pamphlets is an Ottoman adoption of the French macabre text Barrabas. The pamphlets were printed in Izmir in the first years of the 1920s.

The text is based on the silent movie Barrabas (also Barabbas or Barabas), made in 1919 with a premiere in Spain on September 15th, 1920. Maurice Level, a French author of mostly macabre novels, made an accompanying cinéroman, which was issued between December 1919 and February 1920 in the newspaper Le Journal. In the same year a series of 12 pamphlets in French language with the text by the same author, illustrated with photomontages, was published. The silent movie, which was buried for many decades, was restored in 1998.

Level’s stories have been especially popular in the United States and Japan, as he was almost forgotten in his native country.

We could not find any institutional examples on Worldcat.

References: MİL – ÖZEGE; 1673.


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