E-list # 149
New York Book Fair Preview
- The "Author's Galleys." 247 typeset pages, reproducing copyeditor's corrections and with Mason's holograph corrections, mostly in the later stories. Many of her changes correct errors, but some show small rewrites. Loose sheets; near fine.
- "Author's notes to Copyeditors," a two-page computer printout of nearly two dozen justifications for changes Mason does not want made (defending "goosebumps," "St. Louis," "youngun," "golly-bill," etc., with such explanations as: "Tears don't really fall, they run down the face and neck onto the breasts. This is perfectly possible while lying down." Also present are a handful of small handwritten notes (by editors) that appear to be tracking such things as proper names, trademarks, contractions, and copyrights.
- A typed letter signed by Mason to Ted Solotaroff at Harper & Row, dated April 8, 1982, apologizing for sounding snippy and impersonal in her notes to the copyeditors and for being "a little fussy" about a few of her preferences. There is also a paragraph defending "Bombay chicken" as a recipe, as opposed to "Bombay duck." She also, apparently referring to proposed jacket copy, changes K-Mart managers to clerks; says she's not sure the collection has any college-educated divorcees; and says, "I don't recall any story about two bored housewives on a joyride to Nashville." Fine, on personal stationery.
- The uncorrected proof copy. In two of the stories, small textual differences exist between this proof and the published book. (In all but one instance that we found, Mason attempted to correct these "errors" in her page proofs.) Fine in wrappers.
- Folded and gathered sheets, i.e. unbound page signatures of the finished book. Mild foxing to half title; else fine.
- The first edition. Inscribed by the author in the month prior to publication: "To Dorian/ With appreciation, Bobbie Ann Mason/ Oct. 5-82." Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some ink added to cover the rubbing to the spine.
On Sale: $4,875
Fifty pieces of correspondence from Josef Skvorecky (Czech author of The Engineer of Human Souls, among many others) to his eventual friend, writer and musician Anthony Weller. Includes:
- 23 typed letters signed by Skvorecky; 1 typed note signed; 2 typed postcards signed; 3 autograph notes signed; 3 autograph postcards signed; 5 signed cards; 12 emails;
- one unsigned letter which is together with the unpublished 2007 translation (bound computer printout, double-spaced, rectos only, 280pp.) of the author's novel Encounter in Prague, with Murder.
- Weller providing an Afterword to a new edition of Skvorecky's The Bass Saxophone [Toronto: L&OD/Key Porter, 2001], a copy of which is included;
- Weller writing an essay, in 2007, on the adaptations of The Bass Saxophone (five-pages, computer printout), also included;
- and Skvorecky soliciting advice from Weller on the adequacy of the above translation of Encounter in Prague, on which Skvorecky's and his wife's (Zdena Salivarova) names are crossed out as authors and replaced by hand with the pen name "Josephine Salivar."
Weller's retained email response is included, as are 14 retained copies of letters from Weller to Skvorecky. Weller and Skvorecky shared a passion for jazz as well as both being writers, so their correspondence -- which at first is quite cordial, almost formal -- eventually developed into a friendship based on intellectual closeness and trust. Skvorecky is widely considered one of the most important Czech writers of the postwar and Soviet era. Choosing a self-imposed exile to Canada after the failure of the Prague Spring movement in 1968, he founded a press, 68 Publishers, to publish exiled Czech and Slovak writers whose works were banned in communist Czechoslovakia, including Vaclav Havel, the future President of the Czech Republic, and Milan Kundera, whose Unbearable Lightness of Being was first published in Czech by 68 Publishers. Skvorecky himself was a Nobel Prize nominee in the 1980s.
The correspondence spans more than 20 years, up to a point two months before Skvorecky's death. The two writers discuss music, writing, publishing, their health, their travels, and a range of other subjects, exchanging CDs and books (not present here), and discussing their own works as well.
Also included is the Czech edition of Nachod, 1254-2004 by Lubomir Imlauf and Stanislav Bohaldo, inscribed by Skvorecky "For Anthony my friend," in 2004, with an additional note saying it is also available in English. Nachod was Skvorecky's birthplace and featured prominently in much of his work.
In all a revealing look at one of the major writers of the 20th century, writing candidly to a friend, confidant and fellow writer, along with a typescript of an unpublished translation of one of his novels. All items fine.[#029718] SOLD
On Sale: $1,500
- the transcript of the 1985 interview with Wyeth by editor Jeffrey Schaire in which Wyeth first divulged the existence of the unknown work. 24 pages. This interview was for a story on Wyeth that Arts & Antiques ran the year before the Helga story graced their cover.
- a second copy of the 1985 transcript, marked and annotated in preparation for extracting the story from the conversation.
- a partial handwritten transcription of the 1985 interview, with notes on images to be used, 7 pages.
- a photocopy of the press release for the 1985 article, with edits shown.
- a printout of the typescript of that first article, "The Unknown Andrew Wyeth."
- a printout of the typescript of the 1986 Helga article, entitled "Andrew Wyeth's Secret Paintings."
- storyboard-type layout of the text and images to be used in the 1986 article.
- two mockups for the layout of the 1986 article, the first draft using the title of the 1985 article and unrelated text, but with the Helga pictures; the second adding the actual title and text.
- 11 proof prints and 3 photo positives of Helga images, most stamped as property of Time magazine; with a black and white proof of their cover story, which reported (as did Newsweek) on the revelation of the Helga pictures a week after Arts & Antiques broke the story.
- the typesetting of what seems to be the publisher's (Wick Allison's) introduction to the Helga piece in the 1986 issue, lightly copyedited.
- five pieces of correspondence, 1985-1988, from the photographer on the story, Peter Ralston, to the author, Jeff Schaire.
- two snapshots of Andrew Wyeth with Jeffrey Schaire, taken by Susan Gray at the 1987 showing of "The Helga Pictures" at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., along with Schaire's invitation to the preview.
- three letters from Mary Adam Landa, curator of the Wyeth Collection in Chadds Ford.
- the radio transcript of Helen Hayes's piece on Wyeth (for her syndicated program "The Best Years") from 1985, in which she reported on the first Arts & Antiques article, without mentioning the foreshadowed cache of secret paintings.
- two file folders full of the fall-out from the Helga story: fan mail and kudos (and some snarky commentary) from other publications, galleries and individuals; press clippings; arrangements for publicity appearances and a proposal for a video; numerous clippings of cartoons and parodies.