(Hollywood: RKO Radio Pictures, 1940). (Hollywood: RKO Radio Pictures, 1940). First edition. 4to, 27 unpaginated leaves, comb-bound in faux-alligator boards. Extremities slightly rubbed; plastic comb intact; an excellent copy. Item #204816
Illustrated annual "Exhibitor's Book" filled with promotional display ads for forthcoming RKO releases. Most importantly, this book contains the first advertisment for Orson Welles's "Citizen Kane", still under its working title "John Citizen, U.S.A." Also advertised are the adaptations of "Kitty Foyle" and "Sister Carrie", each featuring a fold-out image on cardstock of its eponymous book. With portraits of studio stars including Charles Laughton, Carole Lombard, Cary Grant, Charles Boyer, Ronald Colman, Ginger Rogers and many more.Price: $1,250.00
New Orleans: Loujon Press, 1961-1969. New Orleans: Loujon Press, 1961-1969. All published. 5 vols. in 4; 8vos, 101, 112, 138, pp; original wrappers. Few minor nicks; first issue with some wrinkles; last issue with a bit of sun-darkening toward edges and without uncommon dust jacket. Item #204829
The complete run of this unique and important magazine, best known for publishing the early work of Charles Bukowski. Each issue was hand set and printed by letterpress and reflected publishers Jon and Louise "Gypsy Lou" Webb's distinctive sense of quirkiness in design, using multiple stocks and colors of paper, as well as a variety of fonts and type-sizes. In addition to Bukowski, "The Outsider" also published a who's who of Beats and key figures of early '60s literature and poetry, including: Russell Edson, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrecne Ferlinghetti, Robert Creeley, William S. Burroughs, Diane Di Prima, Michael McClure, Jack Kerouac, and many many others. The final issue incorporates "Homage to Kenneth Patchen" featuring tributes from numerous poets and acolytes.Price: $1,250.00
New York: Boni and Liveright, 1923. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1923. First American edition. 8vo, 215pp; original decorative cloth. Front hinge starting, very slight lean, otherwise close to fine, bright. Item #204889
Attractive copy of the first of Hesse's novels to appear in English, here in an uncredited translation.Price: $550.00
[Culver City, California: Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, 1924]. [Culver City, California: Metro-Goldwyn Mayer, 1924]. First edition. 4to, 68pp unpaginated; pictorial endpapers; original paper-covered boards with printed label on front cover. Tips rubbed; hinges starting, some inconsequential marks and faint discoloration to boards, which have been expertly rebacked; an excellent copy of this delicate volume. Item #204852
Annual “Exhibitors Book” promoting the coming year’s releases to theatre owners. This edition followed immediately on the merger of Louis B. Mayer’s production company with Metro-Goldwyn forming MGM, an event that is here addressed in a full-page montage of news clippings. Most of the book consists of lavishly illustrated spreads advertising fifty new productions – including the original adaptation of Ben Hur, Buster Keaton’s “The Navigator” along with features by King Vidor, Eric von Stroheim, Frank Borzage and many others. The illustrations, using high-end color printing and multicolored papers, represent the classic art-deco style of Hollywood glamor. The last page is a fold-out poster depicting studio stars including such luminaries of the silent era as Buster Keaton, Norma Shearer, Laurette Taylor, Jackie Coogan, Lon Chaney, Jean Hersholt, Zasu Pitts, and many more. One of the rarer exhibitor’s books, with only three copies located in OCLC – oddly enough none in California – and just that we’ve been able to find at auction in the past twenty years of records.Price: $2,500.00
Varied sizes and formats. Occasional wrinkles and short tears; some plitting to folds of the more delicate sheets of lightweight airmail paper. Item #205352
The shooting and editing of “Film” brought Samuel Beckett to New York for several weeks in the summer of 1964. It was the only time he travelled to the United States, as well as his single venture into cinematic work. A rigorously conceived silent film, “Film” featured Buster Keaton in one of his final roles. Sidney Meyers, was an experienced filmmaker, documentarian, and a longtime fixture in New York circles of social documentary filmmakers, artists, and left-wing activists. An enigmatic legend in the New York film scene, Meyers had been deeply involved in radical filmmaking since the 1930s. A founder and central member of the collectives NYkino and Frontier Films, he worked closely with director Leo Hurwitz and photographer Paul Strand on the important film “Native Land” with Paul Robeson (1942). His own 1948 film “The Quiet One”, done in collaboration with photographer Helen Levitt and writer James Agee, had received widespread acclaim on the international festival circuit and was nominated for two Academy Awards. It is recognized as a precursor to the “New Wave” and “Cinema Verite” movements that followed. He was close friend and trusted advisor to the great independent director Joseph Strick and, at the same time as he worked with Beckett was advising Strick on the script for his adaptation of James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. Strick, who served on the board of Grove Press, was instrumental in having Meyers hired as editor of “Film”. Meyers’s expertise in the medium proved critical, since Alan Schneider, the theater man brought on as director had never before worked in film. Beckett, Schneider, and producer Barney Rosset of Grove Press came to depend on Meyers and his role extended well beyond just editing. An extremely self-effacing man, the same age as Beckett, Meyers was deeply respected by his peers as a brilliant filmmaker yet one who shunned recognition. During the course of working side by side in the cutting room, and in their shared wanderings through New York, Meyers and Beckett formed a close friendship, as reflected in these letters.The early letters here directly address the filmmaking process and reveal Beckett’s intimate involvement in its meticulous construction. Prior to sending detailed notes on specific edits for a final cut, he writes “I am on the whole pleased with the film, having accepted its imperfections, for the most part perceptible only to the insiders, and discerned how in some strange way it gains by its deviations from the strict intention and develops something better. The last time I found myself submitting, far from the big crazy idea, to a strangeness and beauty of pure image.”As the correspondence continues, the letters become more personal and Beckett’s affection for Meyers is always clear. He writes of his own anxieties, his trouble with his eyes, and his travels in Italy and North Africa. In his last letter to Meyers, which did not reach him before his death in 1969, Beckett, writing from Tunisia, refers elliptically to the news of his award of the Nobel Prize: “I came straight here from directing Krapp in Berlin and was settling down with Suzanne to a month of quiet sand, sun and sea when the bolt fell. I’m not equal to it and can’t deal with it. You would understand the difficulty and keep me with it, but it’s too complicated for pen and paper. The worst of the fear seems over now and I have hopes of creeping home unmolested under cover of the Prix Goncourt for ex. Or some other stupendous happening.” A draft of Meyers’s last letter to Beckett is present, handwritten on a page from a lined legal pad; the last two Beckett letters are to his widow, Edna Ocko Meyers, one offering pained condolences and a later one addressing the prospect of publication of some portion of the correspondence.Other correspondence offered together in this small archive includes: a 1965 typed letter signed by Judith Schmidt, Barney Rosset’s secretary at Grove Press, stressing to Sidney Meyers the need for a final cut to make the film available for the New York Film Festival; another Grove Press letter to Edna Ocko Meyers (1971) promising a 16MM print of “Film”. The actual film is also present, housed in a belted film box with the Grove Press mailing label. A couple of pages of correspondence and documentation show Beckett attempting to make a donation to a memorial fund in Sidney Meyers’s name in 1980. Further, there are eleven pages of correspondence between Edna Ocko Meyers (her letters are present in the form of retained copies) and Beckett’s biographer Deirdre Bair (1978-1982) , concerning the friendship between Meyers and Beckett, which was not described in the biography. In some of the letters, Bair offers assurances that the addition will be made to the paperback edition, but then expresses her own dismay at discovering upon publication that her publisher had failed to make the emendation. Excerpts from two of Beckett’s letters were published in the Cambridge University Press collection of The Letters of Samuel Beckett 1957-1965, and a permission document is also present in this archive.
Washington DC: 1962. Washington DC: 1962. Single leaf, folded once; loosely inserted together with other items in spiral bound album. Fine. Item #205426
Kennedy writes to express his personal thanks to a federal Border Patrol officer pressed into service at the University of Mississippi to provide protection when James Meredith was registered as the first African American student there. Meredith's enrollment at Ole Miss was vehemently opposed by Mississippi governor Ross Barnett and his cohort of segregationists as well as violent white racists among the student body. When Meredith was escorted onto the Oxford, Miss. campus by national guard troops, tensions grew rapidly and, when the national guard units withdrew, quickly escalated into a full-scale riot resulting in two deaths and numerous serious injuries. Scrambling to address the unfolding situation from the White House, the president and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, worked the phones constantly and ultimately had to send regular army units to Ole Miss to protect Meredith. In this letter, the president addressed Maurice Cruickshank, a Border Patrol Inspector from Buffalo, New York, who was sent to Mississippi along with several members of his unit, saying in part: "Your actions that difficult night were in the highest traditions of the dedicated men and women who serve in law enforcement. The courage and dedication which you demonstrated while in great personal danger prevented a serious and tragic incident from becoming a disaster for our country. Had you failed, our country would have suffered irreparable damage. . ." Ever mindful of history and symbolism, Kennedy knew that the coincidence of his presidency with the hundredth anniversary of the emancipation proclamation held special significance, especially in the face of the intensifying pressure being applied to him by the growing civil rights movement. At the time of Meredith's enrollment at Ole Miss, Kennedy was walking a fine line between the accommodating Martin Luther King, Jr. and his fellow civil rights activists while striving to maintain his political support among southern Democrats. The Mississippi riot and Kennedy's forceful response to it marked a turning point in the young president's approach to civil rights, as his hesitancy gave way to a fuller embrace of the movement. In June of the following year he would call for major new omnibus civil rights legislation. Although the civil rights bill was not passed prior to Kennedy's assassination, it became a key piece of his legacy implemented by his successor Lyndon B. Johnson. Officer Cruickshank preserved the letter in an album of memorabilia, along with another letter from AG Robert F. Kennedy (signed with autopen) from two weeks later, similarly thanking him for his role in the disturbance, a 1965 Christmas card from LBJ's AG Nicholas Katzenbach, a number of related newspaper clippings and later correspondence from Justice Department officials, as well as a matchbook cover from the Ole Miss Motel in Oxford, where presumably he had been billeted. One interesting detail: the RFK letter was sent in a franked envelope from the Department of Justice, while the envelope for the JFK letter bears an adhesive postage stamp honoring the Mercury Space Program. The stamp, newly issued in 1962, was developed in secrecy and issued simultaneously with the event it commemorated, namely John Glenn's historic flight into orbit and safe return in February of that year. Letters signed by Kennedy during his brief presidency are of course highly prized; JFK letters concerning civil rights matters are truly rare. This is an excellent letter with genuinely historic content marking a signal event in the Kennedy presidency.Price: $25,000.00
New York. New York. 23 original gelatin silver prints, with four autograph postcards singed (one is also a Levitt photograph) and an inscribed publication of the Museum of Modern Art (1985); various sizes and formats. One print wrinkled; two have been mounted on stiff board; another mounted on stiff paper backing; one print with remnants of glue on verso from having once been mounted; corners of a pair of prints with tiny abrasions where they were once taped. Item #205446
An excellent collection of photos, five of them signed by Levitt on their versos, and others with neat pencil annotations in her hand, and one with her studio stamp. From the collection of Edna Ocko Meyers and her husband Sidney Meyers (1906-1969), who were close friends and sometime collaborators with Levitt. A multitalented polymath, Sidney Meyers is best known as a film editor and director. His 1949 documentary "The Quiet One", which was nominated for an academy award, was done together with screenwriter James Agee and Levitt as cinematographer. Levitt remained on close terms with Meyers and his wife and was a frequent guest at their upper west side Manhattan apartment. The photographs were most likely printed by Levitt between the 1960s and 1980s. The images range from some very well known pieces from her major publication (also with Agee) A Way of Seeing, focusing on Harlem street life, as well as some her of her Mexico work. Three of the photos are exhibition prints on 11 X 14 inch sheets, signed and dated by Levitt on the backs; others are smaller format, some being informal working prints. The postcards were written, signed and mailed by Levitt to Edna Meyers as well her son Nick; the MoMA ephemeron is a schedule from the museum's film department that included screenings of "The Quiet One" as well as Meyers's groundbreaking 1961 film "The Savage Eye", which Levitt also worked on. The film reel contain an original 16mm negative of a portion of a never-completed short film that Levitt was working with Sidney Meyers. An outstanding collection.