Archive for The Wounding: An Essay on Education
In 1981, Albee, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Charleston in West Virginia. His speech, on his own education, or lack thereof, and on how one is forever "wounded" by the responsibilities of an education, was published in a signed wrappered limited edition of 200 copies by Mountain State Press, with an additional 50 signed hardcover copies distributed by university professor William Plumley's own Parchment Press. This archive includes:- Albee's hand-corrected typescript of his speech, 9 pages, with "The Wounding: an Essay on Education" listed as a "possible title." Approximately a dozen small corrections in Albee's hand.- an autograph note signed by Albee to Bill Plumley, dated July, 1981, transmitting the above, and asking Plumley to send Lolita back. - an uncorrected photocopy of Albee's typescript, with a copy of the colophon as it is printed in the book.- Copy No. 1 of the 50 hardcover copies of The Wounding, signed by Albee. Fine in a fine dust jacket (and with three extra copies of the jacket, folded).- a copy of the typescript of the (unattributed) remarks used to introduce Albee at the commencement ceremony, with an envelope addressed to Dr. Plumley from "J.P." In the preceding months, Albee's Broadway play adaptation of Nabokov's Lolita had opened and closed after 12 performances (and 31 previews), and the introductory remarks attempt to diplomatically manage Albee's fall from theatrical grace. - four periodicals from the time, each inscribed by Albee to Plumley on their covers: The New Republic (April 11, 1981); Newsweek and Time (March 30, 1981); The New Yorker (March 23, 1981). The latter announces the opening of Lolita; the first three contain reviews of the play, one of which (The New Republic) is briefly quoted in the introductory remarks to Albee's speech. An interesting archive, which documents a noteworthy commencement speech by one of the preeminent American playwrights of the 20th century, at the time that he has just experienced perhaps the most extreme critical savaging of his career. It is perhaps not surprising that the title of the talk, and the book, is "The Wounding" and that Albee takes great pains to express the wounding -- by civilization, by education, and by our own natures -- as something to be grateful for, that distinguishes us as humans, and makes us members of the same "club." The hardcover edition is rare; the archival material is unique. [#029905] $3,500
All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.