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All books are first printings of first editions or first American editions unless otherwise noted.
BURROUGHS, William S. and WILSON, S. Clay
1979-1991. In the early 1980s, Burroughs collaborated with S. Clay Wilson on the German editions of Cities of the Red Night [Die Stadte der Roten Nacht, Frankfurt: Zweitausendeins, 1982] and The Wild Boys [Die Wilden Boys, Frankfurt: Zweitausendeins, 1980]. This archive includes:
- correspondence related to this and other collaborations between Burroughs and Wilson, as follows: from 1979 to 1982, six items from the publisher to Wilson; from 1979 to 1985, three items from Burroughs' associate James Grauerholz to Wilson; and from 1985 to 1995, eleven items from Burroughs to Wilson. The earlier items, from the publisher and from Grauerholz, generally solicit drawings, convey approval for ideas, and give progress updates. The later items, from Burroughs himself (one typed note signed; four autograph postcards signed; six autograph cards signed), are more personal, frequently conveying gratitude for a gift or appreciation of Wilson's work. In one, Burroughs (according to a pencil note by Wilson, he is referring to The Chequered Demon) says "vintage Clay Wilson hilarious, horrible disgusting as life itself...Its fine its swell itsa gawdy taste of Hell." In another, in a card picturing a unicorn, Burroughs asks, "Did you see the Barnum & Bailey unicorn? I suspect it to be a goat." Several of the cards are holiday cards, and in one Burroughs wishes "All the best for 1986 and the time remaining to us all." In the last two items, Burroughs thanks Wilson for, respectively, the Graham Greene stories and for a cat book. He also complains about the heat: "Over 100 now for a week. Can't do anything but sit in my air conditioned house." This last card is signed "Bill Burroughs." All of the Burroughs' correspondence items (excepting the postcards) have envelopes; one of the postcards is near fine; the others are fine; many depict Burroughs' artwork.
- three original pen-and-ink S. Clay Wilson illustrations for the German edition of Cities of the Red Night. Wilson was one of the group of artists who gained exposure in the underground comix of the 1960s counterculture. After R. Crumb, he is probably the best known of that group, and his images are almost certainly the most extreme: all of the underground comic artists sought to break barriers and defy convention, and Wilson's images are densely packed and full of overt sex and violence to a nearly unthinkable degree. In this he was very much like Burroughs, whose verbal imagery sought to shatter all barriers, preconceptions and hypocrisies; the collaboration between the two of them seems in retrospect to have been inevitable. These drawings were displayed at the Los Angeles County Art Museum in the show "Ports of Entry: William Burroughs and the Arts," which sought to convey the influence Burroughs has had on visual arts. Extraordinary images, and probably the best illustrations ever of Burroughs' writings. Burroughs himself appears as a character in one of the images. Two of the images are 5-1/4" x 9", the third is 5-1/4" x 10"; all three are matted and framed to approximately 16" x 19". Also together with the original layout and lettering for the title page of the book: three hand-lettered sheets and one printed sheet.
- a trial edition of the German edition of The Wild Boys, rejected by Wilson, who was displeased with the endpapers, signed by Wilson; Wilson's own copy, bound in Niger goat and snakeskin, signed by Wilson and inscribed by Burroughs to Wilson. and the first German edition, signed by Burroughs and Wilson. Wilson's copy is fine in a custom folding chemise; the other tow have a bit of edge-rubbing and are otherwise fine in the publisher's slipcases.
- the German edition of Cities of the Red Night, signed by Burroughs and Wilson. Fine in slipcase.
BURROUGHS, William S.
1988. An original Burroughs painting, which became part of the Seven Deadly Sins exhibition at The Writer's Place, Kansas City, Missouri, in 1993. Acrylic and spray paint on poster board: a gold triangle and heart spray-painted against a background acrylic image of black, blue and gray. Signed by Burroughs. 20" x 32". Mounted and framed to 24" x 36". Fine. [#024825] $7,500
(BURROUGHS, William). WILSON, S. Clay
1988. An original drawing by Wilson for Burroughs' 1989 book Tornado Alley. This image was included in the exhibition "Ports of Entry: William Burroughs and the Arts" that was mounted by the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art in 1996, and it is reproduced on page 140 of the exhibition catalog. Interestingly, the illustration in the book does not show some of the work that Wilson did, as it was done using nonrepro blue pencil which does not show up when photographed: Wilson's edits didn't appear in Tornado Alley and they don't appear in Ports of Entry, but they are quite visible in the work itself. Wilson, one of the great artists of the underground comix of the 1960s and beyond, whom R. Crumb has said was a major influence on Crumb's own work, collaborated with Burroughs on a number of projects. This is not only a significant work of art, and a significant association with Burroughs, but it is also signed by Wilson, who has added, "To Nelson" next to his signature: Wilson gave this work to his friend Nelson Lyon, who loaned it to the exhibition and is listed in the book as one of the lenders to the exhibit. This is, in effect, a three-way association: Nelson Lyon was the co-producer of Burroughs' Dead City Radio, a 1990 album of Burroughs reading his work (including pieces from Tornado Alley) against a background of experimental music by various artists. 9-3/4" x 6-3/4". Matted and framed. Fine. A notable association copy, and an artifact of one of the great collaborations that Burroughs engaged in. [#028091] $7,500
BURROUGHS, William S.
Paris, Olympia, (1959). The first issue of the first edition of his second book, a high spot of Beat and postwar American literature -- one of the "big three" volumes of the Beat movement, along with Jack Kerouac's On the Road and Allen Ginsberg's Howl. Published in paperback in Paris by Maurice Girodias' small press, in an edition of 5000 copies, three years before it could be published in the U.S. Signed by Burroughs in 1996. Uneven sunning and a bit of creasing to the covers; rubbing to the folds. A very good copy in a supplied, near fine dust jacket with a small chip at the crown. Burroughs signed this for a bookseller in Lawrence, Kansas, where he lived during the last years of his life. [#024504] $4,500
(San Francisco), (Beach Books), (1966). A four-page typescript, signed by Burroughs, of his introduction to Claude Pelieu's book Revolvers Aimed... Finger Bowls, and two long galley pages of proofs corrected by Burroughs, plus one autograph note and one typed note from the publisher, pertaining to the book's front matter. Burroughs' introduction to his friend Pelieu's book is written in what appears to be the cut-up style of his Nova Trilogy. One line refers to "23 revolvers aimed at claude pelieu," and much of the rest is surrealistic in the typical style of his cut-up writings. A note in Burroughs' hand instructs the publisher to print it in one thin column, which the galleys reflect. Pelieu is known as the original French Beat writer, and was known as a postmodern poet and respected collage artist in his own right. He and his wife, Mary Beach, collaborated on a number of projects, and this book was to be published by Beach Books, and distributed by City Lights in San Francisco. Burroughs manuscript material seldom appears on the market these days, and this item represents Burroughs' work in collaboration with a noted and respected friend and artist. [#032745] $3,500
(n.p.), (n.p.), [c. 1910-1921]. A printed manuscript poem by Burroughs, his most famous, first published in Knickerbocker magazine in 1863, when Burroughs was 25; anthologized in Whittier's Songs of Three Centuries in 1875. At that time the poem had seven stanzas; over the years the weakest stanza (the sixth of seven) was dropped (by an unknown editor). "Waiting" appeared as the preface to Burroughs' Light of Day in 1900 with six stanzas, but even so the fifth stanza continued to trouble him. According to the Clara Barrus biography Our Friend John Burroughs, published in 1914, "a few years ago" Burroughs occasionally substituted a new fifth stanza, beginning, "The law of love binds every heart..." (Later renditions have this line reading "The law of love threads every heart.) But that too failed to satisfy him, and future renditions would have the original six (of seven) stanzas. This broadside has the six stanzas, with the short-lived "binds every heart" fifth stanza; it is printed in Burroughs' holograph, with an original water color of tree branches, and it is inscribed by Burroughs, for Barnard C. Connelly, and dated Feb. 9, 1921, the month before Burroughs' death. 7" x 9-3/4", bevel-edged on three sides; previously framed and sunned over most of the page; staining to two margins, touching only the date. A very good copy. Although Burroughs wrote "considerable poetry as a young man" (his words, from John Burroughs Talks), "a time came when I wrote no more poetry and destroyed most of what I had done previously...I am practically a man of a single poem." We have found reference to a smaller (4-1/2" x 6") leaflet of this poem being done earlier, by Alfred Bartlett, but have found no record of the printing history of this variation. [#031668] $1,750
BURROUGHS, William S. as "LEE, William"
NY, Ace, (1953). Burroughs' pseudonymous first book, a paperback original bound back-to-back with Maurice Helbrant's Narcotic Agent. Junkie was a straightforward narrative of Burroughs' experiences with drugs; the publisher chose to release it couched in an anti-drug context, as a first person example of the horrors of drug use, and bound with a narcotic agent's memoir. A couple small spots of rubbing; darkening to page edges, else near fine, with the spine square and no creasing to it. Very uncommon thus. [#914626] $1,500
BURROUGHS, William S.
(NY), Grove Press, (1959)[c. 1962]. The first American edition of this classic novel of the Beat generation, which was not published in the U.S. until three years after its Paris publication, and until a legal challenge to its banning was successful. Such authors as Norman Mailer testified as to the literary value and accomplishment of Burroughs' work. Basis for the 1991 David Cronenberg film featuring Peter Weller, Judy Davis, Ian Holm, Julian Sands, and Roy Scheider. Slightly bowed, lower rear corner bumped, near fine with the topstain bright, in a fine dust jacket with a couple of tiny nicks at heel and a tiny bit of rubbing at the rear spine fold. [#911012] $750
[St. Louis], John Burroughs School, 1925. Poetry by the future novelist, journalist, and war correspondent (and third wife of Ernest Hemingway). Six poems, or stanzas, or "bits of glass," written during what would have been Gellhorn's senior year at the John Burroughs School, a decade before she met Hemingway and the two traveled to Spain to cover the Spanish Civil War together, beginning for Gellhorn more than half a century of covering wars and conflicts around the globe. A bit of corner staining to inner pages and smudges to covers; near fine in wrappers. Gellhorn also contributes, anonymously, to the section called the "Attic"; is listed on the Board of Editors; and contributes to the Editorials section done by members of the Board. Early appearances in print by a groundbreaking female journalist. [#032769] $450
1921. Tall, stringbound chapbook printing the readings and remembrances from Burroughs' funeral services held at Riverby and at the graveside. 24 pages, printing Biblical passages; poetry by Emerson, Wordsworth, and others; a selection by Earl W. Williams that, according to the chapbook, was, several years earlier, deemed appropriate for the occasion by Burroughs himself; "Selections from the Earliest and Latest Writings of John Burroughs," including the poem "Waiting" and excerpts from "Accepting the Universe"; poems for Burroughs by Charles Buxton Going, Edwin Markham, May Morgan, and Jean Dwight Franklin; and two tipped-in images: one of Burroughs in "The Nest" at Riverby, and one of C.S. Pietro's sculpture of Burroughs, entitled "The Seer." Ownership signature, in pencil, of Elspeth A. Edington. Minor wear and creasing to yapped edges; covers splitting at lower spine; very good in wrappers. Uncommon. [#032694] $250
BURROUGHS, William S.
(Gottingen), (Expanded Media Editions), (1973). First thus, a bilingual (English/German) reprint of the original Unicorn Press edition. Mildly edge-darkened covers; near fine in wrappers. [#019425] $100
LANSDALE, Joe R.; BURROUGHS, Edgar Rice
(Milwaukee), Dark Horse Books, (1995). Signed by Lansdale. Fine in a fine dust jacket. [#031291] $50
(BURROUGHS, Edgar Rice and PARDEE, Curtis)
Evergreen, Cazedessus, 1973. A fanzine, this issue with cover art by Curt Pardee. Inscribed on the cover by Pardee: "For Steve of [sic] when I'm rich and famous, Curt Pardee!" Near fine in stapled wrappers. [#030498] $25
BURROUGHS, Edgar Rice
North Hollywood, Fantasy House, 1974. First separate appearance, as Fantasy Reader 5. Fine in stapled wrappers. [#030499] $20
(BURROUGHS, William S.)
(Hadley), Ken Lopez Bookseller, (2005). A catalog/brochure describing the Burroughs archive previously known as the "Vaduz archive" and printing in facsimile a number of items from the archive, including Brion Gysin calligraphy, photographs of Burroughs and others, visual poetry by Burroughs, and other items. An overview of the archive, with description of its contents and essays on its history and importance in the context of 20th century literature. The archive was purchased by the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library, which also purchased the Jack Kerouac archive a few years ago. Fine in wrappers. [#024827] $20
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