Publisher: Novaia Moskva (New Moscow)
Author: Sakonskaia, Nina, 1896-1951
Artist: Akhmetʹev, V. P.
- 1And suddenly in the quiet above the quieted masses cut a voice sharper than a knife: -- We ourselves will build the very same, and maybe a better one, our own dirigible!
- 2The Soviets are not intimidated by the German airship. As the Soviet crowd is awed by the German zeppelin, a strong voice declares, “We ourselves will build the very same \\ And maybe a better one, our own dirigible!” The dirigible with a red star emblazoned on its nose is a projection of this Soviet imagination for the future onto the gray German airship, foreshadowing a Soviet dirigible in the future. This forward-looking goal is accentuated by the fact that the dirigible aims up—perhaps hinting at the Soviet Union’s quest “onwards and upwards.” The red of the star also connects this imagined dirigible to the final all-red Soviet dirigible on the last page of the book, linking together the Soviet crowd’s dirigible-focused goals with the realization of those aspirations in the future.
- 3This page, while bearing a blue bottom, is almost entirely red, which perhaps signals with the red star that the future (what is above and beyond) is red—that is, socialist and Soviet. The color red is a fitting background for the projected future of dirigibles in the USSR.
- 4Almost everyone in the crowd has their arms raised, pointing up towards the red-starred dirigible in the sky. This conveys a greater sense of excitement and novelty than does the previous page, where most people’s arms down point downwards. Here, the Soviet masses are excited at the prospect of a future great Soviet achievement of “the same, perhaps a better, our own dirigible!” Furthermore, the raised arms suggest that the Soviet citizens are looking upwards towards progress. They are welcoming and saluting this Soviet future with their upraised arms.
- 5These two figures are clearly set apart from the masses. Perhaps the man at right, motioning in conversation with an interlocutor, is the voice that cut the silence “like a knife.” They must be discussing the future of the dirigible. The voice’s tone being “like a knife” could refer to the ability of these verbalizations to plan, cut material for, and eventually construct the Soviet airship. The words themselves are described as tools for actions, and they cut into the silence of the crowd with the assured phrase: "we will build the very same/ maybe even a better one, our own dirigible!"