Catalog 100, A-B
2. AUSTER, Paul. Wall Writing. (Berkeley): The Figures (1976). The second book by this author who gained significant prominence as a result of his series of novels collectively titled "The New York Trilogy," as well as his film work, including the screenplay of Smoke, directed by Wayne Wang, and his work on Blue in the Face, which he co-directed with Wang. This is a collection of poetry published in an edition of 500 copies, 26 of which were lettered and signed by the author. This is one of the 26 copies. One tiny edge nick; a very narrow and slight strip of sunning near the foredge; very near fine in wrappers, and signed. A scarce issue of this early title by the author of The Moon Palace and The Music of Chance, among others.
3. BALDWIN, James. One Day When I Was Lost. NY: Dial, 1973. The uncorrected proof copy of the first American edition of this "scenario" or screenplay, based on Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Fragile pad-bound proofs in tall wrappers; a fine copy. Signed by the author as "Jimmy Baldwin." A very scarce proof, in a fragile format. Few of these will have been done and only a tiny number can be expected to have survived. The conjunction of Baldwin, the most prominent African-American author of the postwar era, and Malcolm X, the most prominent radical Black leader of the period, is a notable one, even though this version of the screenplay was not ultimately produced when the film was finally made, two decades later, by Spike Lee. Books signed by Baldwin, the author of the classic Go Tell It On the Mountain, are becoming increasingly scarce.
4. BARNES, Julian. Flaubert's Parrot. London: Cape (1984). Uncorrected proof copy of the first edition of Barnes's breakthrough book, a combination of fiction, literary history, criticism and biography, and one of the most highly praised books of the decade. Faint droplets to rear cover; else fine in wrappers. Signed by the author.
5. BELLOW, Saul. Dangling Man. NY: Vanguard (1944). The scarce first book by the Nobel Prize winner and three-time winner of the National Book Award for fiction -- an unprecedented accomplishment in American letters. This is a wartime production printed on the cheap paper typical of the day and therefore seldom encountered in collectible condition. A bit of darkening to the edges and spine; near fine in a very good dust jacket, somewhat faded on the spine and with several small edge chips. (BELLOW, Saul). See also item #147.
6. BERGER, Thomas. Little Big Man. NY: Dial, 1964. The first edition of the author's third and most famous novel, a tragicomic history of the American West, which was immortalized on film. Little Big Man won the Richard and Hilda Rosenthal Foundation Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, an award that is given for a work that, while not a commercial success, is nonetheless a substantial literary achievement. This copy is inscribed by the author to publisher Seymour Lawrence: "To Seymour Lawrence/ republisher of this novel/ and great friend to the/ career of/ Thomas Berger." Fifteen years after this novel was first published, Lawrence -- by then Berger's publisher -- reissued it, an extremely uncommon event in contemporary American publishing -- one usually reserved for bestselling classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird or The Grapes of Wrath. Despite the good reviews and the movie made from this title -- and the fact that it went into a second printing -- Little Big Man was very definitely not a bestseller and the re-publication of the novel is evidence of Lawrence's extraordinary support for his authors -- the special efforts he made on their behalf -- which earned him the reputation as a legendary editor and one of the most well-loved by the authors he took on. As such, this is an excellent association copy of a major American novel. Fine in a slightly spine-faded dust jacket worn at the crown and rubbed at the folds; still about near fine.
7. BERGER, Thomas. Siamese Twins. NY: Harold Matson Co. (n.d.). A two-act play by Berger, apparently unpublished (and unproduced?). The setting for this comic script is a suburban milieu similar to the one Berger used in his novel Neighbors, which was made into a well-received movie. This is the corrected typescript, signed by the author. Ninety-eight pages, ribbon-copy, heavily corrected by the author with numerous changes and deletions in felt tip pen. A unique item by the author of the award-winning Little Big Man. Loose sheets in three-ring binder. Fine.
8. BORGES, Jorge Luis. El Aleph. Buenos Aries: Editorial Losada (1949). Along with his collection Ficciones, published in 1944, El Aleph is considered one of Borges' two great masterworks of the unique fictional form he developed, which was later much-imitated and became one of the defining strands of postmodern literature. Over the course of two decades, in the 1950s and 1960s, Borges exerted an unparalleled influence on both North and South American writing, being recognized by John Barth as "one of the old masters of twentieth-century writing" and by Carlos Fuentes, who wrote that "without Borges' prose there simply would not be a modern Spanish-American novel." Page edges darkening and offsetting to endpages; brittle upper corners of flyleaf and half title chipped; overall a very good copy in wrappers with some chipping at the corners; a cheaply made, fragile book, which has been protected with a french-folded tissue wrapper. One of the key works in 10th century Latin American literature.
9. BORGES, Jorge Luis. Otras Inquisiciones. Buenos Aires: Sur (1952). Generally considered Borges' most important collection of essays, which span the years 1937-1952, the period of his coming into his maturity as a writer. Borges' second book, and first book of prose, published in 1925, was entitled Inquisiciones -- translatable as "inquiries" or "investigations" -- and was a collection of essays that Borges' own avant garde publishing house, Proa, issued. In later years, Borges disavowed the earlier work, reportedly buying up copies when he saw them in order to destroy them, and he never allowed the essays in that original volume to be reprinted, even when an edition of his Collected Works was published by Argentina's premier literary publishing house. Otras Inquisiciones derived its title from the earlier volume and was written, in part, as a rebuttal, or refutation, of that work, which Borges came to consider as having been immature and ill-considered. These essays on literature, by contrast, represent the full flowering of Borges' critical intelligence: in addition to his being a poet and fiction writer of great accomplishment and originality, he was a translator, historian of literature, and literary critic of singular acuity. He introduced Kafka, Faulkner and Virginia Woolf, among others, to Latin American readers, and the depth of his knowledge of American, English and Continental literary history was profound. Subjects of the essays in this volume include Cervantes, Coleridge, Hawthorne, Whitman, Keats, Kafka, Valéry, Wilde, William Beckford's Vathek, and others. Pages darkening, rubbing to folds; still about near fine in original wrappers. A very nice copy of this fragile and important book.
10. BOWLES, Paul. Without Stopping: An Autobiography. NY: Putnam (1972). Uncorrected proof copy of the first book of the author's memoirs. Bowles became one of the most influential figures of the postwar literary movement that came to be known as the "Beats" as a result of his stature as an expatriate writer, living in Morocco and immersing himself in the foreign culture, including the drug culture, there. Bowles's novels, notably The Sheltering Sky and Let It Come Down, often depict alienated Westerners confronting a foreign sensibility whose meaning and import eludes them, and who find themselves "in over their heads" in situations they don't understand, which can quickly turn dangerous, even fatal. As a metaphor for Western innocence and arrogance, his fiction transcends its locales and resonates with a more universal set of insights, as applicable to Southeast Asia, for example, as to Morocco. Indeed, it was during the 1960s at the height of the counterculture inspired in part by protest against the Vietnam War, that Bowles went from being a celebrated but obscure literary figure to being a cultural hero, whose experiments with drugs antedated by a generation those of the 1960s, and whose recognition of the strangeness and power of the cultural "Other" was beguiling to a new generation in rebellion against its own culture. Such icons of the Beat Generation, and later the counterculture, as Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs and others, would often visit Bowles in Tangier or Marrakech. This proof copy has a publisher's information label on the front cover, which is torn away at the edges and has an ink price notation on the label, but overall this is at least a very good copy in tall wrappers. Casual inspection reveals at least small changes from the published volume throughout the book.
11. BRADBURY, Ray. The Illustrated Man. Garden City: Doubleday, 1951. One of the classics that established Bradbury as the preeminent literary science fiction writer of his generation and, for a time, virtually the only one to cross the line from "genre writer" to "literary author." Bradbury's stories were, from the first, collected in such anthologies as the O. Henry Prize Stories and Best American Short Stories series, and throughout his career he continued to be viewed as a mainstream literary figure as much as a science fiction writer, one of the writers who -- like Ross Macdonald in the mystery field -- brought such a degree of literary ability to his writing that he helped validate an entire genre. His novel Fahrenheit 451 is considered a classic in the field and, fittingly for a literary author, its subject is a literary one -- a future society in which books are banned. This volume is a collection of short stories, each related to a tattoo on the body of the "illustrated man" of the title. Later made into a moderately well-received movie with Brad Steiger. One lower corner bumped; otherwise near fine in a very good dust jacket with several edge tears and some creasing. Still, a nice example of one of the cheaply made Doubleday genre books of the period, and an attractive copy of a science fiction classic.
12. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. Lay the Marble Tea. San Francisco: Carp Press, 1959. His scarce third book, and first collection of poems (his earlier two books were each a single poem). Published a year after his first book, The Return of the Rivers. A small pamphlet, printing twenty-four poems, with a cover illustration by Kenn Davis, and an epigraph by Emily Dickinson, from whom the title is taken. Wrappers foxed, creased on the rear panel, and splitting an inch or more from each end of the spine, causing one 1/4" horizontal tear to the front panel. Upper corners of the pages are wrinkled. A good copy only, but extremely scarce.
13. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. June 30th, June 30th. (NY): Delacorte/Seymour Lawrence (1978). A collection of poems, and one of the scarcer titles from the late period of Brautigan's career. This is an uncorrected proof copy. After his enormous popularity with the counterculture of the 1960s, which continued into the early 1970s, Brautigan fell out of critical favor: his writing was viewed as too whimsical, not political enough, etc. Whereas his novels of the early Seventies -- such as The Hawkline Monster, Willard and His Bowling Trophies and Sombrero Fallout -- had sizable first printings, his poetry collections of the late Seventies had comparatively smaller printings and were issued simultaneously in both hardcover and paperback, meaning the hardcover editions were quite scarce indeed, as most of the demand for Brautigan titles was in the youth market, where price was more a consideration than binding. The proofs of these books, needless to say, are considerably scarcer than even the hardcovers. This copy has a faint vertical crease to front cover near the spine (presumably from reading), paper clip indentation, and mild uniform soiling overall; still near fine in wrappers.
14. BRAUTIGAN, Richard. The Tokyo-Montana Express. NY: Delacorte/Lawrence (1980). Brautigan's penultimate book, published four years before he committed suicide, reportedly in large part because of the increasingly negative critical reception his writings were getting. This is the publisher's copy of a collection of short prose pieces, depicting stops on a mythical train route from Montana to Tokyo -- the two poles of Brautigan's literary universe at that time -- and imbued with Brautigan's characteristic gentle whimsy and humor. Hand-bound in full leather with raised bands, gilt stamped, top edge gilt, and marbled endpapers. While it is not known how many copies would have been done in this way, a reasonable guess would be that there were only two -- one for the author and one for the publisher. We have seen such specially bound copies of modern literary titles from time to time, but always in the authors' own collections, never on the market, and we have only ever seen single copies of a given title. Near-unique, and thus one of the scarcest of all Brautigan items. Very slight rubbing at extremities of spine, but still fine. From the library of Seymour Lawrence, the publisher of this title.
15. BURROUGHS, William. Naked Lunch. NY: Grove (1959)[c. 1962]. His second novel, one of the great drugs novels of all time, and -- along with Howl, by Allen Ginsberg, and On the Road, by Jack Kerouac -- one of the three key texts of the "Beat Generation," the most influential literary movement in the U.S. in the postwar era. Naked Lunch was censored in this country and was not published here until three years after its original publication in Paris, and then only after a number of high-profile literary figures argued its case as a novel of great literary merit and import. It was published by the maverick publisher Barney Rosset, of Grove Press, in a tiny edition of 3500 copies -- a smaller number than was done of the very scarce French edition in 1959 (reported as an edition of 5000). Later, it was reprinted many times and became an underground classic in the Sixties and eventually became a part of the canon, even being made into a somewhat experimental movie in the early 1990s. This is a fine copy in a very near fine dust jacket with slight wear at the crown, one tiny tear at the upper edge of the front panel, and a bit of foxing and dampstaining visible only internally. A very attractive copy of this novel, which was a Radcliffe book of the century.
16. BURROUGHS, William S. The Wild Boys. NY: Grove Press (1971). A novel, one of the scarcer ones from the middle period of Burroughs' career, published in an edition of 5619 copies, according to the bibliographer. This copy is inscribed by the author to poet (later rock musician) Jim Carroll: "For Jim Carroll/ all the best/ from the Wild Boys/ William S. Burroughs." Carroll was of a younger generation than Burroughs: his memoir The Basketball Diaries is one of the key coming-of-age accounts of the Sixties, an account of the New York City drug underground that received high praise from Jack Kerouac while still in draft form, years before it was finally published. Carroll has penned a poem, "Hydrogen Glow" -- apparently unpublished elsewhere, on the front pastedown. Near fine in a very good, price-clipped dust jacket. An excellent association copy, linking two key figures of successive generations of underground writing.
17. BURROUGHS, William. "Tell Tale Heart I," an oil painting. A painting by the author of Naked Lunch, et al. 19¾" x 14¼", red and gold paint on rag paper. Signed by Burroughs in red pencil at the bottom front right corner. Titled on the back in pencil, in Burroughs' hand. This painting was donated by William Burroughs to Jan Kerouac, daughter of Jack, as part of a fund-raising benefit for Jan to help pay her medical expenses. The idea was to auction the painting and raise money for her bills. Jan Kerouac died shortly after the benefit was held but before she died, she gave the painting to one of her father's biographers, Gerald Nicosia, who had supported her in her long quest to gain some degree of access to, and control over, her father's literary estate--an ongoing legal battle even today. Nicosia, in order to support the legal costs associated with pursuing the court battle over the Kerouac literary estate, then sold the painting. The nearly abstract image is of a bright red heart, surrounded by a yellow glow and further surrounded by a chaotic pattern of red brush strokes, nearly obliterating the outline of the heart shape--a dramatic, highly expressive image. Burroughs, in his later years, turned increasingly to visual images and projects as his medium of expression. This painting provides an excellent association between one of the founders of the Beat movement and the daughter of another. With letters of provenance. Fine.