Catalog 157, E-G
71. (EASTLAKE, William). Best American Short Stories 1955, 1956, 1957. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1955, 1956, 1957. Three volumes of Best American Short Stories, each including a story by Eastlake and each inscribed by Eastlake to his father. The first volume, which contains "Little Joe," is inscribed simply, "With love/Bill," and is tight, but the covers are stained from use: a good copy in a very good dust jacket with one foredge stain, some edge creasing, and a chip to the crown. The second volume contains "The Quiet Chimneys" and is inscribed "For Pap/ with love/ Bill." Some offsetting to spine; a near fine copy in a very good dust jacket chipped at the corners and spine ends. The third volume contains "The Unhappy Hunting Grounds" and is inscribed "Love for Pap/ Bill." Near fine in a very good dust jacket with chipping to the spine extremities. Eastlake's early fiction, including his first three novels and these early stories, were set in the American southwest; he helped put that region on the literary map, to be followed by such writers as John Nichols, Tony Hillerman, Leslie Marmon Silko and later Cormac McCarthy. Provenance: Eastlake's estate (Marilyn Hill). These were the first three appearances of six total for Eastlake in B.A.S.S.; his first novel, Go in Beauty, came out in 1956. For the three:
72. ELLIOTT, George P. Among the Dangs. NY: HRW (1961). An early collection of stories by this author who taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop and later the well-regarded writing program at Syracuse University. The title story is considered by many to be a modern classic, and Elliott was thought of as a "writer's writer," because of his mastery of multiple forms and also because he was such a good teacher. Signed by the author in Iowa City in the month of publication and from the library of two of his students there. Sunning to spine extremities, a bit of play in binding; near fine in a very good, spine-sunned dust jacket with several shallow edge chips.
73. ELLISON, Ralph. Invisible Man. NY: Random House (1952). His first book, winner of the first National Book Award to be given. Signed by the author. A high spot of 20th century American literature -- both a classic of African-American fiction and a book that transcends such a racial identification to stand as a literary landmark on its own terms. In a poll conducted in 1965, 200 critics, authors and editors judged Invisible Man to be "the most distinguished single work" published in the previous 20 years. One light corner tap, else a fine copy in a very good, moderately rubbed dust jacket with a short split to the upper front flap fold and several internally tape-strengthened edge tears. A nice copy of this book, given the dark dust jacket that shows wear readily.
74. ELLISON, Ralph. Shadow and Act. NY: Random House (1964). The second book and first collection of essays by the author of the classic Invisible Man. Inscribed by Ellison to the author Nicholas Delbanco: "For Nick Delbanco/ with pleasure at Bennington/ Sincerely/ Ralph Ellison." Delbanco was the head of the Writing Program at Bennington College, as well as a novelist of considerable acclaim himself. Ellison had a long history with Bennington, going back to before Invisible Man was published: he gave his first talk to a college audience at Bennington, at the invitation of Stanley Edgar Hyman, and in later years he was a Trustee of the college and served on its Board of Governors. A good literary association copy. Fine in a very near fine dust jacket with trace wear to the spine ends.
75. ELMAN, Richard M. Lilo's Diary and The Reckoning. NY: Scribner (1968, 1969). Review copies of the second and third books in his Holocaust trilogy, which began with The 28th Day of Elul. Both books are inscribed by the author in 1974. Lilo is fine in a fine dust jacket, with review slip and author photo laid in; The Reckoning has a tiny stain to a lower board edge; else fine in a fine dust jacket. The inscriptions are to a well-known New York bookseller, and Elman signs the books "a Fan." For both:
76. (Film). BRAKHAGE, Stan and CORMAN, Cid. Correspondence. 1963-1971. Six letters, (one autograph letter signed, five typed letters signed, all from Brakhage to Corman, 8 pages total, plus twice that many pages of enclosures, and including a typescript, a catalog, and an original outtake from Brakhage's film Mothlight.
The first four letters are from 1963; the initial two are most concerned with Corman's influential literary magazine Origin, and poetry and poets (Ed Dorn, Robert Creeley, Charles Olson, Gertrude Stein and, in particular, Louis Zukofsky). In the third letter, Brakhage is still struggling to find common ground, or perhaps more accurately a common language, with Corman, someone whom "I haven't ever met and who has never seen any of my films." As such, with this letter, he includes copies of two other letters (11 pages), one sent to his wife about a visit to Gloucester with Charles Olson; the other sent to Robert Kelly, about, among other things, Carolee Schneemann, Mothlight, and his epic Dog Star Man. The fourth letter (October 1963) is written in praise of Corman's Noh drama and the last issue of Origin, but in a handwritten postscript, Brakhage includes "a strip of original from my newest film MOTHLIGHT, the first film collage - to my knowledge at least." Mothlight was a three+ minute film made without a camera, created by pressing moth wings, grass and flower petals between strips of 16mm mylar splicing film. A 7 1/2" strip is enclosed.
The fifth letter, written in 1967, fills the gaps of the preceding years. Brakhage has a $400 per month Rockefeller grant, of which he spends $350 a month at the film laboratory. "And we've withdrawn all the films from most of the distribution we were having because of the misuse of the material under current hippie-cracker-barrel philosophies...." Brakhage does bring Corman up to speed on how Corman can see his Song series, but bemoans the expense of obtaining his long war film 23rd Psalm Branch. In the sixth letter (1968), he laments the expense of seeing Scenes from Under a Childhood, but tells Corman he will send him a copy of Mothlight: "It arises out of some felt-correlation between the flight patterns of a thousand moths watched and the integral theme and variation movements of Bach fugues, all worked by the mind's eye and fingers placing moth wings (gathered from lamps where they'd killed themselves) and flowers and leaves, etc. placed directly on film, a frame-at-a-time, and printed directly (without intervening camera) over some nine or ten month period. This in very partial thanks for all your good books."
In addition to the letters, there is a Brakhage Films catalog (apparently from 1971, if one goes by the envelope), and a 7-page hand-corrected typescript of "From Carolee Schneemann."
A remarkable archive: Brakhage is considered one of the most important experimental filmmakers of the 20th century, and this collection of letters points to the poets and artists whose work he admired early on and the themes and concerns of an early stage of his 40+ year career. The excerpt from Mothlight is notable: the process of turning the original double strip of tape with moth wings and plant matter pressed between them into a film, by running it through an optical film printer, gnarled the original beyond any further use, so this "outtake" may be one of the few surviving examples of the original film, his first to be created without using a camera. We could only find a record of one other such extract from Mothlight, in a sample sent by Brakhage to the poet James Broughton, whom he knew in his days in San Francisco, when he was friends with Broughton, Robert Duncan, Jess Collins, Kenneth Rexroth, and the rest of that artistic group in the "San Francisco renaissance." Brakhage later painted directly onto film and created other collages, but Mothlight was his first experiment in this direction. The film won awards at two major film festivals, in 1964 and 1966. Brakhage is said to have "radically rewritten movie grammar... [He] established the frame in cinema as equivalent to the note in music; whereupon he proceeds to make films with frames the way a composer makes music with notes..." [Brad Darrach, "The Underground Film," 1967]. Brakhage's innovations and experiments, fueled by the passionate intelligence evident in these letters, helped bring film to a level of respectability comparable to the "older arts." The condition of the filmstrip is difficult to assess without risk but it appears undamaged -- no cracks or chips. All other elements near fine or better. For the lot:
77. (Film). Film 67/68. NY: Simon & Schuster (1968). An anthology of movie reviews by such writers as Pauline Kael, Andrew Sarris, Brendan Gill, Stanley Kauffmann and others, including the co-editors, John Simon and Richard Schickel. The first volume in a series. The films reviewed include In Cold Blood, Cool Hand Luke, Ulysses, Far from the Madding Crowd, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Bonnie and Clyde, Blow-Up, Persona, The Graduate, Marat/Sade, and others. Inscribed by John Simon: "Since I am not good at forging signatures, I won't do Schickel." This is the issue in wrappers. Near fine.
78. (Film). Hollywood Voices. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill (1971). A review copy, edited and inscribed by Andrew Sarris "with gratitude and affection." Excerpted from the book Interviews with Film Directors, and including only the interviews with Cukor, Mamoulian, Preminger, Sturges, Huston, Losey, Ray, Polonsky and Orson Welles, as well as Sarris' influential essay, "The Rise and Fall of the Film Director." Fine in a fine, price-clipped dust jacket. Review slip laid in, giving the publication date as March, 1972, despite the printed copyright date of 1971.
79. FOER, Jonathan Safran. Tree of Codes. (London): Visual Editions (2010). The first edition, which was published in England as a paperback original, and is (according to the publisher's website) "as much a sculptural object as it is a work of masterful storytelling..." Using a die cut technique, Foer carved a new text from his favorite book, Bruno Schulz's The Street of Crocodiles (also published as Cinnamon Shops). For example, the title Tree of Codes removes ten letters from The Street of Crocodiles. The book couldn't be published in hardcover, lest it collapse in on itself, and the text, only visible on rectos, is best read by inserting a blank sheet behind each page. Reported first issue, with the three-paragraph Olafur Eliasson blurb on the rear cover. Fine in wrappers. Foer is the author of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a novel of the aftermath of 9/11 that has just been released as a film.
80. FORD, Richard. The Ultimate Good Luck. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981. His second novel, a hard-boiled thriller involving American expatriates in Mexico. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Partly because of the weak construction at the rear hinge, which tends to crack, this title has become harder to locate, particularly in fine condition, than his first book.
81. FOWLES, John. Poor Koko. Helsinki: Eurographica (1987). The first separate edition, one of 350 copies, of a story first published in The Ebony Tower. Signed by the author. An attractive limited edition printed in Italy at Tipografia Nobili, on special Michelangelo paper made in Pescia, Italy. Part of the Eurographica series of Contemporary Authors in Signed Limited Editions. Fine in wrappers and fine dust jacket.
82. GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Gabriel. Crónica de una Muerte Anunciada. (Bogota): (Editorial la Oveja Negra)([1981). The Colombian first edition of Chronicle of a Death Foretold, which was published simultaneously in Colombia, Mexico, and Spain. Inscribed by the author and dated in 1998. A nice copy of this small book by the Nobel Prize winner; "following the flag," this would be the most desirable of the several simultaneous issues. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
83. GARDNER, John. The Wreckage of Agathon. NY: Harper & Row (1970). Gardner's second novel. Discoloration to rear pastedown, apparently from bleed through of binder's glue -- a not-uncommon flaw with this title; thus near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a couple tiny edge nicks and a dusty rear panel.
84. GARDNER, John. On Moral Fiction. NY: Basic Books (1978). Arguably Gardner's most important book, a controversial polemic that took the unpopular position that artists bear a moral responsibility that they ignore at the risk of rendering their work irrelevant. The controversy around this essay beset Gardner beyond all expectations, and he was painted by some as a fascist and throwback to a time when Art only served the prevailing moral, social, and political order. The author's untimely death in a motorcycle accident in 1982 short-circuited the debate, which has been picked up since by others who have, like Gardner, argued for meaning and relevance in art, not just expression. Mild foxing to top edge of text block; else fine in a fine dust jacket.
85. GASS, William. Omensetter's Luck. (NY): New American Library (1966). His first book, one of the extraordinary literary debuts published in the mid-1960s by NAL -- normally a mass-market paperback house -- under the editorial direction of David Segal. Signed by the author on the half-title page. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with short tears to the corners and spine ends and a small stain to the lower rear panel. Overall a very attractive copy of this important first novel, which is somewhat uncommon, especially signed.
86. -. Same title, the first Italian edition, Prigionieri del Paradiso [Prisoners of Paradise]. (Torino): Einaudi (1973). Signed by the author. Blindstamp to title page, else fine in a near fine dust jacket with one short edge tear to the upper front spine fold. Wraparound band laid in, with Susan Sontag blurb: "Un libro sbalorditivo" [an incredible book]. Band is torn in half; Sontag's words intact.
87. GASS, William. In the Heart of the Heart of the Country. NY: Harper & Row (1968). His second book, a collection of stories. Inscribed by the author "with best wishes" and signed as "Bill Gass." Fine in a very near fine dust jacket with a slight degree of sunning to the spine. A nice copy of an important book.
88. GASS, William. Fiction and the Figures of Life. NY: Knopf, 1970. His third book, and first book of nonfiction, a book that provided the counterpoint for John Gardner's On Moral Fiction -- Gass and Gardner lining up on opposite sides of the issue. Signed by the author on the half-title page. Production crease to rear pastedown; else fine in a fine dust jacket with perhaps a hint of tanning to the spine lettering.
89. -. Same title. NY: Vintage (1972). The first Vintage paperback edition. Inscribed by the author and signed as "Bill Gass." Near fine in wrappers.
90. GASS, William. On Being Blue. Boston: Godine (1975). The trade edition of this title, subtitled "A Philosophical Inquiry," one of three thousand copies. An attractively printed and bound book, as usual for Godine. Signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
91. -. Same title. One of 225 numbered copies signed by the author. Fine in a fine dust jacket, in a near fine slipcase that has a touch of fading at the edges.
92. GASS, William. The First Winter of My Married Life. Northridge: Lord John, 1979. One of 275 numbered copied signed by the author. Spine cloth faded; near fine without dust jacket, as issued.
93. -. Same title. One of 26 lettered copies signed by the author. Fine without dust jacket, as issued.
94. (GASS, William). Delta No. 8. (Montpellier): (Université Paul Valéry), 1979. An issue on Gass, Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, and Robert Coover. Writings in both English and French. Inscribed by Gass, with a marginal note ("style reportage") in the Gass section in an unknown hand, but very possibly the same pen as the inscription. Near fine in wrappers.
95. GORDIMER, Nadine. The House Gun. (London): Bloomsbury (1998). The uncorrected proof copy of the U.K. edition of this novel by the South African Nobel Prize winner. Signed by the author. A couple small spots to the rear panel, else fine in wrappers, with publisher's promotional sheets laid in. Scarce.
96. GRATEFUL DEAD and Ken Kesey. Excerpts from the Acid Test. San Francisco: Sound City Productions . The first recording by the Grateful Dead, who had been known as the Warlocks about a month earlier. This is a 7" 33 RPM promotional record, labeled "For Radio Play Only, Not for Sale" and consists of excerpts from the Acid Test album that Sound City was producing. The recording was made at the Sound City studio and was the seventh Acid Test -- communal events/happenings that were open to the public and at which LSD, "acid" -- which was still legal in California at the time -- was freely distributed to the attendees. The Sound City Acid Test, because it took place in a recording studio, was more of a private event than earlier, or later, Acid Tests. It was also the last one Kesey himself participated in. He had been arrested for marijuana possession for the second time two weeks earlier, and had had to show up in disguise at the sixth Acid Test a week earlier at Longshoremen's Hall in San Francisco, in order to avoid reporters and the police. Within a week of the Sound City Acid Test, Kesey had left the country and gone into hiding in Mexico. The Grateful Dead had been the house band for the Acid Tests since they began in 1965, but under their earlier name of The Warlocks. By December 1965 they were starting to use their new name, and at the Acid Tests in January they were being billed as The Grateful Dead. This is the first time they were recorded as the Dead in a recording made for general release. The promo record was issued in March, 1966, and preceded the full length album (30+ minutes) released later that month. The only earlier recordings of the Grateful Dead are private ones that have made it into circulation as bootlegs; this, and the Acid Test album from which it was excerpted, were not only intended for public release but were also covered by "a couple of radio stations and a photographer for Look magazine" according to the Sound City press release, although the Look article apparently never appeared. "The purpose of the recording was to produce an album of unusual sounds, mental manipulations of the sometimes considered genius of Mr. Kesey and his cohorts during the actual happenings of a 'sugar' party. The results are different to say the least..." The Acid Test album itself is quite scarce; it was re-released in the 1980s. The promotional giveaway record is exceedingly uncommon, and a landmark for one of the most influential and long-lasting rock and roll bands to come out of the San Francisco Bay Area of the 1960s. The Grateful Dead went on to a 30-year career and became the most popular "jam band" of its time, triggering any number of similar jamming, touring bands in its wake, and capturing an essence of the hippie counterculture that lived on long after its historical moment had passed. Fine, in a plain white sleeve.
97. GUTHRIE, A.B., Jr. The Big Sky. NY: Sloane (1947). The third printing of the first title in his series of historical novels about the settling of the American west in the 19th century. The second book in the series, The Way West, won a Pulitzer Prize, although Wallace Stegner, perhaps the foremost novelist of the American West, called this one the "best" of them. Inscribed by Guthrie to Margaret McElderry in New York in 1948: "Dear Margaret McElderry -- You reckon there'll be anything left when you have crossed out all the cuss words? My thanks for your help. Bud Guthrie." An interesting and significant association copy: McElderry was one of the greatest editors of children's books -- one of the highest awards in children's book publishing is named after her -- and the inscription presumably refers to her role in adapting Guthrie's book for young people, an edition that came out in 1950. Mottling to rear board; very good in a fair, chipped dust jacket split along two folds.