New York: Henry Holt and Company, (1997). New York: Henry Holt and Company, (1997). First edition. Cloth-backed boards. Thick 8vo, 773pp; cloth-backed boards. A copy with numerous signs of having been read: corners of a few pages turned down, a bit of concavity to the spine, a few spots on foredge and light shelf-rubbing to lower board-edges and tips, otherwise near fine in dust jacket and printed plastic overlay, which were likely removed during reading and then replaced. Item #204187
With a signed inscription on the half-title page: "For Richard -- Thanks for the read! Thomas Pynchon." The recipient, a journalist and long-time admirer of the novelist, was present when Pynchon recorded his guest appearance on "The Simpsons," -- Simpsons creator Matt Groening was an old friend -- at which time he signed this book. Pynchon inscriptions have seldom been offered for sale. While more have surfaced in the past ten years than in the forty before then, his remains one of the very rarest of modern literary autographs. The only other Pynchon inscriptions recently on the market appear to have been done specifically for charitable purposes.
(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
Paris: 1909. Paris: 1909. Two page on a single small bifolium with the poet's printed address. Tiny pinhole at folded, some additional creases, close to fine. Item #204849
A brief letter in which Rilke writes to his publisher in Leipzig providing the correct wording of some lines of poetry in "Das Stunden-Buch" [The Book of Hours], the second of his publications under the Insel imprint that had first appeared in 1905. At the time of this writing, the press was preparing the third edition. Rilke writes, in part: "...in bezug auf Ihre zweite liebenswürdige Anfrage, beeile ich mich zu erwidern, dass es, seite 34, heissen soll: 'Denn was sind Kirchen und sind Klöster, in ihrem Steigen und Erstehn. . .' die andern stelle auf Seite 38 haben sie richtig verbessert: 'von lauter Ãhnlichen umschart'. . ." The unnamed recipient was likely someone other than, and in the employment of, Anton Kippenberg, the editor who brought Rilke to Insel and worked closely with him over a period of many years. In the published correspondence, Rilke unfailingly addresses Kippenberg as "Herr Doktor" and signs himself "RM Rilke". Here the salutation is "sehr geehrter Herr" and the signature is the poet's full name. He is directly addressing a copy editor on a practical matter of ensuring the proper setting of type for his poetry. Das Stunden-Buch was the first of Rilke's books to present a cycle of poems unified by a single thematic concept, and thus represented both a culmination of his early verse and a precursor to the great later cycles of "Sonnets to Orpheus" and "The Duino Elegies"Price: $3,750.00
Stuttgard: in der Cottaischen Buchhandlung, 1819. Stuttgard: in der Cottaischen Buchhandlung, 1819. First edition, second printing. 8vo, 556pp; handsome later three-quarter vellum and marbled boards. Few light spots of foxing to first and last leaves, top edge a bit dusty, still a very nice, largely untrimmed copy. Item #204636
The first printin of Goethe's great cycle of Sufi-inspired verses is exceedingly scarce. The second printing, as here, is distinguished by corrected text on pages 7 and 9, doubled pagination of pages 399-400 and missed pagination on pages 495-496. A very appealing copy, including its famous engraved frontispiece evoking Persian calligraphy.Price: $1,750.00
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.
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