The Cicadas
London, Chatto & Windus, 1931. Nathanael West's copy of Huxley's collection of poetry, with West's holograph notes on five of the front and rear endpages. Approximately 250 words, mostly quotes of other writers -- Huxley, Gray, Shakespeare; some light, but most quite serious: "In matters of love it is absurd to stand on your dignity and claim your rights. Such experiences cannot be judged and calculated like a matter of business. One gives as much and as long as one can & one does not bargain. Take what is given to you." West concludes with: "The paths of glory lead but to the grave." The year this book was published, West published his first novel. Later in the 1930s, both West and Huxley were employed as Hollywood screenwriters. West died in 1940 at the age of 37. The provenance of this book leads from West to his brother-in-law, S.J. Perelman, to the writer and bookseller, George Sims, who recounts the circumstances of his purchasing books from Perelman in the early 1970s, presumably including this one. A photocopy of a note from Sims is laid in. Fading to spine, spotting to cloth, short tear to lower front joint; still very good, without dust jacket. Publisher's extra spine label tipped to rear free endpaper. A wonderful glimpse of West's musings and inner life. [#017974] $3,500

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