E-list # 148

New Arrivals

NY, Morrow, (1990). The first state uncorrected proof copy, with the Author's Note at the back still present: Anthony's explicit endorsement of the pedophilia that he fictionalizes in his book was censored from later proofs and from the published text. Bookplate of another author inside the front cover; fine in wrappers. [#033210] $150
San Francisco, Four Seasons, 1967. The true first edition of Brautigan's breakthrough book, which established his unique writing style and sensibility and for the first time earned him a wide audience. Issued as "Writing 14" in the Four Seasons Foundation publishing series and preceding the Delta edition. Don Allen of Four Seasons picked up Trout Fishing after Grove Press dumped Brautigan when A Confederate General from Big Sur failed to meet sales expectations when it was published in 1964. With virtually no advertising or promotion, Trout Fishing went through multiple printings, sold 35,000 copies -- an unheard of number for any Four Seasons Foundation publication -- and made Brautigan one of the key writers of his generation. The book has sold two million copies in all its editions. The first edition of Trout Fishing is one of the most elusive of the key books of the 1960s. Reportedly its first printing was, like several other Four Seasons Foundation books, 1000 copies (2000 has also been stated); but copies of Trout Fishing turn up with markedly less frequency than his other Four Seasons Foundation titles, In Watermelon Sugar and The Pill versus The Springhill Mine Disaster. Often when copies do turn up, their condition is poor from having been read, re-read and, often, passed around. This copy has four lines (one crossed out) penned on page 14, sunning to the spine, partial loss to the first two letters of the spine title, and some very mild bending and creasing. A very good copy in wrappers. [#033217] SOLD
Berlin, Paul Zsolnay, 1928. A novel by the Czech born, German language author, perhaps best known as the friend, biographer, and literary executor of Kafka, who failed to follow Kafka's instructions to burn his works, choosing to publish them instead. Inscribed by Brod. Rebound, and still starting at the hinges; about very good. Although Brod was very prolific as a writer, books signed or inscribed by him are uncommon. [#033215] $275
NY, Entermedia, 1978. The program for three days of performances, film, readings and discussions honoring Burroughs' and his writings in 1978, when he first returned to the U.S. after many years of living in London and Tangier. Signed by William Burroughs and by Phillip Glass. Glass performed "New Piece for Electric Organ," which a teenage attendee -- Thurston Moore, later of Sonic Youth -- described as "idiosyncratic high-speed minimalist pianistics [which] was natural, gorgeous and sublime." Other participants included a virtual Who's Who of the American avant garde and underground: Brion Gysin, Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Kathy Acker, Timothy Leary, John Giorno. Ed Sanders, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Waldman, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Terry Southern, Robert Anton Wilson, filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and others. Keith Richards was listed but didn't appear; Frank Zappa filled in by reading "The Talking Asshole" from Naked Lunch. Robert Palmer reviewed the event for the New York Times and wrote that the Glass piece was "as conservative in its language and as rigorous in its organization as Mr. Burroughs's first novel, 'Junkie,'" and that Patti Smith's "was more in the tradition of the cut-ups; it celebrated attitude, style, and the kind of 'holy accidents' that visionary artists have long cultivated." At least two films of the event have been released, and one record album and cassette, and portions of it have been restaged over the years: it was selfconsciously understood by the participants to be a landmark of its time. The cover prints a seven-line quote from Burroughs, which as usual seems to anticipate the future -- our present -- in terms practically no one but he would have come up with, about surviving the age of Nova, "with Nova conspiracies, Nova criminals, and Nova police" and a "new mythology in the Space Age, where we will again have heroes and villains, as regards intentions towards this planet." Twelve pages; fine in stapled wrappers. An uncommon and ephemeral piece documenting a major cultural event, seldom found signed by the central figure of the convention, and here also signed by one of the performers, himself a major American composer. [#033218] $1,750
(Comics Anthology)
Princeton, Kitchen Sink Press, 1991. The sixth issue of this alternative comics anthology, signed by contributors Doug Allen, Skip Williamson, John Petrie, Daniel Gillespie Clowes, and Monte Beauchamp. The theme of this issue is alcohol and alcoholism, with illustrated stories and comics by more than a dozen writers and artists. Clowes illustrated Petrie's and Beauchamp's piece on alcoholic cartoonists -- an early work for him. Light general wear; near fine in wrappers. [#033208] $150
NY, Doubleday, (1997). A memoir by the woman whose testimony during the Senate hearings for Clarence Thomas's appointment as a Supreme Court Justice shocked the Congress, earned her widespread vilification, and can now be looked back on as an early antecedent to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements that are disrupting the powers-that-be in the U.S. and elsewhere, in virtually every field. A landmark work. Signed by the author. Trace foxing to top edge, else fine in a fine dust jacket. [#033212] $75
NY, Basic Books, (1979). A massive book that became an unlikely bestseller, linking the mathematician Kurt Godel, the visual artist M.C. Escher, and the composer Johann Sebastian Bach, and finding symmetries and connections in their works that shed light on cognition, systems, and meaning itself. Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. Inscribed by the author in the year of publication to Arthur Levenson, a mathematician and cryptographer who worked on the German Enigma code during WWII; Levenson was also an early supporter of the Washington Bach Consort. Mild foxing to the edges of text block; near fine in a very good dust jacket, with the usual fading from peach to pale yellow, especially on the spine. Uncommon signed. According to online inventories at Stanford, Levenson had corresponded this same year with Hofstadter's father, Robert, who was a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics. An interesting association copy of a book that became a cultural touchstone. [#033219] $2,500
(London), Faber and Faber, (2009). The signed slipcased edition of this collection of five stories by the Nobel Prize winning author. One of an unspecified number of copies signed by the author and issued in the publisher's slipcase. Fine in a fine dust jacket, in a slipcase that is fine, but for a very small sticker shadow. With the "Signed Copy" wraparound band still present, albeit opened. [#033211] SOLD
1942. An early autograph letter signed from Kerouac to his then-girlfriend, Norma Blickfelt, written when he was 20 years old, reflecting on his life and foreshadowing much of what he would later become famous for. 4 pages, written in pencil, and later annotated by him in red ink -- "Love letter written at sea." He writes that he cannot tell her exactly where he is or what he is doing -- it is wartime -- but he is "in a very beautiful and enchanted land."

Kerouac joined the Merchant Marine in the summer of 1942, both as a patriotic gesture during the war and also as a way to make money so he could afford to go back to Columbia in the fall. As it turned out, he "misjudged the length of the voyage" and was slated to not return until January. He ended up leaving the trip early, and the ship was torpedoed in January with the loss of all aboard -- several hundred lives. Kerouac enlisted in the regular Navy, but had a short tenure there: he later wrote that he asked them for an aspirin and they gave him a poor health discharge.

The letter is both self-consciously literary -- Kerouac writes for effect, clearly -- and also touches on his interests, readings, and aspirations: "The little Morro cook sits beside me eating oatmeal and Spanish chicken rice... it is morning, a grey drizzling dawn prevails, etc., etc." "I'm studying like mad on this ship -- Outline of History, the Roman writers, some classics, Thomas Mann (what a Humanist!) and the Shadow Magazine..."

"What romance.. to stand on a deck bare-chested at dawn, and to listen to the pulse-beats of the ship's great, idle engine -- Wolfe's 'morning and new lands...'"

He writes that as soon as he returns from the trip he will take a room in the Village "to write like mad" and will call her and "if Saroyan's on Broadway and the Russian restaurants go on tinkling songs of home while Russians weep into their vodka, we'll take that in together."

He quotes Budd Schulberg then reminisces about their (his and Norma's) time together -- "Third Avenue (our penthouse, our little song), the Bowery, Chinatown, Union Square, the Harbor and your engaging German singing..." -- and then about a trip he took down South after that where he "wandered about in my own lonely way, from city to city, village to village, listening to the Negros sing the blues, eating and working in lunchcarts, hopping freights and listening to the great American music of a train whistle..." "And stories -- I've millions of them, all ready to pop out. Now, more than ever, do I want to write."

He writes about "the Genius of poetry (as Thoreau would have put it)" and about his own being "frank, or egotistical & vain, or all three" but doesn't apologize and says "I don't remember Whitman being self-depreciating, nor Wolfe with his long hours at the mirror, nor Saroyan indeed, nor Joyce, etc..." He concludes by saying that "if anybody tells me I'm disillusioning myself, or harboring 'pretenses to a higher mentality,' or even 'trying to rise from the people,' as my father claims, I'll tell them they're damned fools and will go on writing, studying, travelling, singing, loving, seeing, smelling, hearing, and feeling... Write to me, Norma; I miss you." He gives his address and signs the letter "Yours ever, Jack."

Kerouac had written her "a long and dramatic letter" earlier "but I never mailed it." He says he will preserve that letter "as a monument to my emotional teens." This is apparently the earliest letter that Kerouac sent that survives, other than one to "Sammy" Sampas, his longtime Lowell friend, and one he wrote to his sister after he helped their parents move from Lowell to New Haven in 1941.

White lined paper, torn from a notebook along one edge; folded in eighths. Staple holes one upper corner; near fine. A glimpse of the young Kerouac's own blueprint for his life, from his formative years, touching on the major themes that defined his life and work.

[#033220] SOLD
Los Angeles/Columbia, Underwood-Miller, 1988. The deluxe edition of this compendium of interviews with Stephen King, 1979-1987. Edited by Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller. One of 52 copies of the deluxe edition (of 1152 copies total); this is copy "CC." Half-bound in leather. With the bookplate of contributor Stanley Wiater on the front flyleaf. Wiater has two contributions -- an interview with King on the set of Maximun Overdrive, the first and only film King directed, and a joint interview with King and Peter Straub at the 1979 World Fantasy Convention, in Providence, Rhode Island. Fine. [#033205] $300
Woodstock, Overlook Connection Press, (1996). A limited edition of this horror novel by Ketchum, loosely based on events in a notorious murder case in 1965 and made into a film in 2007. With an 11-page introduction by Stephen King that did not appear in the trade edition, as well as several Afterwords, and an interview with Ketchum by Stanley Wiater about the writing of the book. This copy is signed by Ketchum, King, Wiater, Christopher Golden, Lucy Taylor, Edward Lee, Philip Nutman and Neal McPheeters. There were 500 numbered copies and 52 lettered copies; this is a contributor's copy, marked "SW2," from the library of Stanley Wiater, with his bookplate on the front free endpaper. Fine in a fine dust jacket and fine slipcase. [#033204] $500
NY, TOR/Doherty, (2002). Edited by Lumley and by Stanley Wiater. Of a total edition of 450 copies, this is Copy "P" of 50 lettered copies reserved for the author and publisher, signed by Lumley and Wiater and by Bob Eggleton, who provides the endpaper art. Clothbound; fine without dust jacket, as issued, in a very near fine pictorial cardstock slipcase. From the library of co-editor Stanley Wiater. [#033206] $200
(Abingdon), Cemetery Dance Publications, 1998. Fourteen Matheson Twilight Zone scripts, edited and with commentary by Stanley Wiater. Matheson, the author of such novels as Bid Time Return and I Am Legend, was one of the two authors -- Charles Beaumont being the other -- whose scriptwriting set The Twilight Zone apart from other television series of its time and made it a standard against which much television since has been measured. Several of Matheson's scripts have come to be considered classic shows, including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" and "Night Call," adapted from one of the author's own short stories. Wiater's commentary puts the scripts in context, as well as locating Rod Serling's show within the ongoing history of classic horror fiction and film. 500 numbered copies and 52 lettered copies were done; this copy is designated "PC" and is from Wiater's personal library. Signed by Matheson and Wiater. Fine in a fine slipcase. [#033203] $400
Garden City, Doubleday, 1957. The second printing of this short comic novel, signed by Nabokov and dated "21 Jan. 1959 Cornell Univ." With a letter of provenance laid in. Nabokov was notoriously reluctant to sign books, and the letter of provenance tells an interesting story: the purchaser of this book originally bought two copies of Lolita to have Nabokov sign, and Nabokov told him that he had an agreement with his publisher not to sign copies of the book. As a result, he went back to the bookstore and bought two copies of Pnin (one for himself and one for his sister), and Nabokov signed and dated those instead. The commercial success of Lolita -- it had been a bestseller since its publication the previous summer -- allowed Nabokov to leave his job at Cornell. He gave his last two lectures there on January 19, two days before signing this book. Boards somewhat rubbed; near fine in a very good dust jacket with a couple of small stains at the folds, some fading to the spine lettering, and modest edge chipping. The dust jacket is Juliar's variant a, with the code above the price on the front flap. Uncommon signed, and this copy with a small footnote to literary history. [#033207] $3,500
(Native American)
(Minneapolis), Nodin Press, (1966). "A dialogue in haiku" by Vizenor and Downes, alternating haiku presented in two separate rounds, the first with Downes leading off, the second with Vizenor leading. Ten haiku per round, with illustrations by Hokusai. Signed by both Vizenor and Downes. Tiny foredge spot, else fine in stapled wrappers, in a near fine dust jacket. As best we can tell, this was Vizenor's third Nodin Press publication, and it appears to be his scarcest; this is the first time we have seen this title. [#033222] $300
NY, Spiegel & Grau, (2016). A memoir by the South African-born successor to Jon Stewart, as host of television's The Daily Show, a comedic and satirical take on the daily news that came to be seen as more reliably truthful than most of the news that the show satirized, and became a stalwart base of social criticism in the entertainment industry and the media. Noah, who was born during the apartheid era in South Africa was literally, as the title says, born a crime: it was illegal for his black father and white mother to have sexual relations in South Africa at that time and the book, among many other things, recounts harrowing escapes and efforts to avoid the authorities, who could have removed him from his family. Signed by the author on the publisher's tipped-in leaf. Fine in a fine dust jacket, with a "Signed Copy" label on the front panel. A bestseller, and signed first printings are scarce. [#033213] $150
NY, Thomas Y. Crowell, (1949). The first children's book by the author of The Street and The Narrows, among others. Inscribed by Petry in the year of publication "For the Koopman and the Schino children." Petry was educated as a pharmacist and had worked in her family's Connecticut drug store before moving to Harlem to write The Street. Mild dampstaining to upper board edges and foredge; near fine in a bright, very good dust jacket, again with dampstaining to the edges and folds. An uncommon book; rare signed. [#033221] $450
NY, Farrar, Straus, Giroux, (2018). The advance reading copy of this collection of essays and lectures on "matters of urgency...that arise from the way we think now." This is Robinson's tenth book, after four books of fiction and five books of nonfiction, which together brought her a Pulitzer Prize, two National Book Critic Circle Awards, an Orange Prize, and the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. In addition, Robinson, who has the distinction of having been interviewed by President Obama in 2015, received a National Humanities Medal from him in 2012. Fine in wrappers. [#033216] SOLD
(Willimantic), (Mark V. Ziesing), (1988). A presentation copy of the limited edition. According to a colophon stamped on the front flyleaf, the first 300 copies were specially bound and signed and numbered. This copy is unnumbered ("PC") but is additionally stamped "Presentation Copy." Signed by Shepard and by J.K. Potter, who did the jacket illustration. Stanley Wiater's Gahan Wilson-designed bookplate on the front pastedown; near fine in a very good dust jacket. A nice association copy; Wiater worked on a book of J. K. Potter's photographs that was ultimately never published. [#033209] $100
NY, Knopf, 1988. The limited edition of this epistolary novel based on an ashram similar to that operated by the popular guru Rajneesh during the '70s and '80s. Copy No. 248 of 350 numbered copies signed by the author. Fine in a fine slipcase, with a few wrinkles to the spine of the unprinted acetate dust jacket. [#033214] $125
For notifications of our sale lists, new arrivals, new catalogs, or other e-lists, subscribe to our email list:

Note: Your email will not be shared and will only be used for announcements.

From the Libary of James Tate Rockwell Kent Archive