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James S. Jaffe Rare Books, LLC

Nightwood

Nightwood

BARNES, Djuna 8vo, original purple cloth, dust jacket. A few small chips and closed tears to dust jacket, a tiny bit of edge-wear elsewhere, lower fore corner bumped, otherwise a fine copy of a rare book, an exceptional association copy, and the only inscribed copy we have handled. A few small chips and closed tears to dust jacket, a tiny bit of edge-wear elsewhere, lower fore corner bumped, otherwise a fine copy of a rare book, an exceptional association copy, and the only inscribed copy we have handled First edition of Barnes' celebrated roman à clef set in Paris in the 1920s. Presentation copy, inscribed on the front free endpaper "To John Hayward, with love, Djuna Barnes." Laid into this copy is a brief autographed card signed by Barnes to Hayward, reading "A Very Merry Christmas & a Good New Year - Would write Tom but he's away, Always, Djuna." John Hayward, (1905-1965) literary editor and critic, bibliophile and bibliographer, the editor of The Book Collector, and cataloguer of The Rothschild Library, Lord Rothschild's great collection of Eighteenth Century English Literature, was for many years T. S. Eliot's closest friend, the poet's archivist, editor, and literary executor. Hayward and Eliot shared a flat at Carlyle Mansions in Chelsea for eleven years from 1946 until 1957, and it is to "Tom" Eliot that Barnes refers in her note. In 1957, Eliot suddenly married Esmé Valerie Fletcher, his young secretary, and abruptly left Hayward, his long-time companion. The news that Eliot was leaving came as a "stunning surprise" to Hayward. In a letter to Helen Gardner, Hayward wrote: "I knew nothing and suspected nothing until he handed me a letter to read as he was leaving - literally leaving - the flat, to spend the night with his lawyer before the 6:15 am 25 guineas ceremony." On the day of Eliot's wedding, Hayward told his sister Diana, "You will never guess what has happened! Mr Eliot has eloped with his secretary." Eliot and Hayward remained estranged for many years afterwards. Referring to his second marriage, Eliot told Djuna Barnes "I'm the luckiest, the very luckiest man on earth." - John Smart, Tarantula's Web: John Hayward, T. S. Eliot and Their Circle (London: Michael Russell, 2013), pp. 264-272. A classic of lesbian literature, Nightwood was rejected by American publishers, and at the instigation of T. S. Eliot, a director of the firm, was first published in England by Faber and Faber. Harcourt, Brace published the first American edition, with an introduction by Eliot, in 1937. Both editions were slightly bowdlerized, and the original text was not published until Dalkey Archive Press brought out an unexpurgated edition in 1995. William Burroughs called Nightwood "one of the great books of the twentieth century." Although undated, Barnes's presentation inscription and certainly her inserted note presumably date from the period during which Hayward and Eliot lived together in Chelsea.
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Ultime Lettere di Jacopo Ortis

FOSCOLO, Ugo 8vo, contemporary quarter morocco and vellum boards. Ownership signature, some light foxing and faint marginal damp-staining, covers a trifle worn, otherwise a very good copy. Preserved in custom-made cloth chemise & quarter morocco & cloth slipcase. Ownership signature, some light foxing and faint marginal damp-staining, covers a trifle worn, otherwise a very good copy. Preserved in custom-made cloth chemise & quarter morocco & cloth slipcase First edition of one of the masterpieces of Italian Romanticism, an epistolary novel of unfulfilled, if not entirely unrequited, love and patriotism. Ugo Foscolo, best-known as the author of "Dei Sepolcri" and the sonnets, was born on the Ionian island of Zante of a Venetian father and a Greek mother in 1778, and died in 1827 in exile in England, where he was buried. In 1871, his body was exhumed and reinterred in Brunelleschi's Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, where Macchiavelli, Galileo, Michelangelo, and Alfieri are buried, and which Foscolo celebrated in his most famous poem, "Of Tombs." The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis was Foscolo's first work, written when he was only nineteen years old. Inspired by Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther, it is a cri du Coeur for not only the betrayal of young love, but also of his country, as symbolized by Napoleon's cession of the Venetian Republic to Austria. "Jacopo, romantic hero and 'alter-ego' of Ugo Foscolo, ardent patriot and impassioned lover, finds, at the age of twenty-four, that he has drained the bitter cup of disillusion and deceit to the dregs, with his homeland sold and his beloved Teresa about to be joined to another man in an arranged marriage of interest." By turns rhapsodic and despairing, or manic and depressive, Jacopo is transformed into one of the earliest heroes of the Italian Risorgimento. Despite its almost unremitting gloom, The Last Letters "gains a sort of luminosity and even generates the hope of a wholly human immortality, granted not by a God who is unable to comfort men in their miseries, but by the solidarity which unites companions in misfortune and gives them everlasting gratitude for the memory of those who have sacrificed their own lives for others, who have not bowed down to tyranny, who have faced the bitterness of exile rather than submit to arbitrary power and injustice." - Victorio Massimo Manfredi, introduction to Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis, translated by J. G. Nichols (London: Hesperus, 2002).
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The Church of St. Mary & St. David Kilpeck

ARTIST'S BOOK] NUTTALL, Jeff Folio, 26 leaves of heavy gray stock, illustrated frontispiece, calligraphic title-page and section-titles in red with historiated initials, illustrated throughout with watercolors of views and interiors (a few onlaid), architectural elements and carvings, pen & ink drawings, most heightened with colored chalk or wash, plans, and floral borders, original calf, spine lettered in gilt, gilt device on front cover. Spine and covers rubbed, particularly at the extremities, otherwise this unique artist's book is in fine condition. Spine and covers rubbed, particularly at the extremities, otherwise this unique artist's book is in fine condition The original manuscript of Nuttall's 1954 Master's Thesis on the history of the medieval church in Kilpeck. "The one and only copy of this work is owned by Jonathan Williams." - note in The Kilpeck Anthology (Five Seasons Press, 1981). A history of the church in Nuttall's neat cursive hand illustrated and embellished with his artwork in three chapters: "The History", "The Sculpture & Architecture", and "The Impact". In the coda to the book Nuttall writes: "My intended detachment was completely destroyed. The building refused to be seen as an arrangement in stone, as the key to a time and a tradition, or as a piece in the jig-saw puzzle of art history. It stood unavoidably as a work of art, the timeless expression of a vision experienced under that same sun which now winked at me through the deep yew tree." Nuttall, poet, publisher, actor, artist, musician, and figure of the 60s' counter-culture in Britain, was the brother of literary critic and teacher A. D. Nuttall.
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Original pen-and-ink drawing of Walter and Mary Hamady’s farm in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin, 6 x 7 inches, with a pencil note in the lower margin in the artist’s hand identifying the drawing as “The happy homestead of Mary Laird and Walter Hamady by Jack Beal” (no date, but 1975)

BEAL, Jack The drawing is accompanied by a copy of the birth announcement, and both are in fine condition. The drawing is accompanied by a copy of the birth announcement, and both are in fine condition A superb pen-and-ink drawing, which was reproduced on the small broadside birth announcement of the Hamadys daughter Laura. The announcement is entitled "Laura Evans Hamady - Printer's Devil". Laura Hamady was born January 5, 1975, and the proud parents printed a broadside to mark the occasion. The broadside reads in part: "Mother Father & Daughter are well and thriving at home, pictured above in a view from the barn drawn by Laura's Uncle Jack who is so modest he didn't even sign it." It may be that Beal annotated the drawing at a later date, on a subsequent visit to the Hamadys, or the statement may simply mean that the drawing wasn't signed in the conventional way. Jack Beal, one of the pre-eminent realist painters in American, illustrated nine Perishable Press books, including Loren Eiseley's The Brown Wasps in 1969, two Gabberjabbs, Hunkering in Wisconsin and Thumbnailing the Hilex, in 1974, and Seeds and Chairs in 1979, as well as a number of ephemeral pieces. Best known for his paintings, drawings, and prints, Beal's work is represented in many of the most prestigious museums in the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. The present drawing, which beautifully illustrates his relationship with the Hamadys and the Perishable Press, is a fine example of Beal's brilliant draftsmanship.
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Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems. In Two Volumes. By W. Wordsworth

WORDSWORTH, William & Samuel Taylor COLERIDGE 2 volumes, 12mo, contemporary diced russia gilt. The R. W. Chapman-Abel Berland copy, with contemporary inscription and letter from E. H. Keasbury on the flyleaves, covers very slightly worn, otherwise an exceptionally fine unsophisticated copy. The R. W. Chapman-Abel Berland copy, with contemporary inscription and letter from E. H. Keasbury on the flyleaves, covers very slightly worn, otherwise an exceptionally fine unsophisticated copy Second edition of Lyrical Ballads, the first complete edition, being the second & best edition of Volume I & the first edition of Volume II; the first time the two volumes were issued together & the first appearance of Wordsworth's celebrated Preface. Printing & The Mind of Man 256. Hayward 202 (note). The second edition comprises all of the poems in the first edition of Volume I as issued in 1798 together with one additional poem ("Love"), Wordsworth's Preface, & an entirely new second volume with forty-one new poems. The present set has the following points: in Volume I, leaf [a]3 is cancelled, with line 1 recto reading "The First Volume"; leaves I3-4 are uncancelled; page 137 has "been" in line 9 & to in line 13; page 196 reads "agency" (instead of "agony") in line 14; in Volume II, leaves O1-2 & P2 are uncancelled; page 64 reads "Oft had I" in line 1 & "wide Moor" in line 6; page 83 has a comma after "last days" in line 6; page 92 reads "He" in line 2; page 129, line 11, has "when they please" normally but deterioratingly spread; O1-2 are uncancelled (p. 210 has ten lines, omitting fifteen lines of "Michael"), as well as the errata leaf P2 which had three corrections rather than twenty-seven. Ashley 8:6-9. Cornell/Healey 6-11. Printing and the Mind of Man 256. Wise 5. Tinker 2330-1. The importance of Wordsworth's Preface cannot be overestimated; in the words of Kenneth Johnston, Wordsworth's latest biographer, it is arguably the most influential document of literary theory in English. Considered conceited in its day, Wordsworth's Preface expressed the poet's re-evaluation of the nature & appropriate objects of poetry in light of his own experience. "Wordsworth was motivated by the Poet's duty to renew his entire culture, promulgating a theory of the creative imagination's role in improving human society . in terms of a theory of poetics: metrics, diction, and style." - The Hidden Wordsworth (Norton, 1998), pp. 738-739. Believing that the incidents of common life could provide inspiration & interest for a new kind of poetry & a new sensibility, Wordsworth stated most memorably that "all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; . Poems to which any value can be attached, were never produced on any variety of subjects but by a man who being possessed of more than usual organic sensibility had also thought long and deeply. Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility; the emotion is contemplated till by a species of reaction the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, similar to that which was before the object of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind".
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A City Winter and Other Poems. Two Drawings by Larry Rivers

O'HARA, Frank Tall 8vo, original frontispiece drawing & reproductions of two drawings by Larry Rivers, original cloth-backed decorated boards. Covers a bit faded, otherwise a fine copy. Covers a bit faded, otherwise a fine copy First edition of O'Hara's first book, the birth of the New York School of Poetry. One of 20 copies printed by hand in Bodoni types on Japanese Kochi paper by Ruthven Todd for Editions of the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, specially bound with an original drawing by Larry Rivers as a frontispiece; this copy number 8. The drawing in this copy, a beautiful drawing of a reclining nude woman, is signed by Rivers. According to the colophon, A City Winter was published in March-April 1952 in an edition of 150 numbered copies, in two forms: a regular issue of 130 copies printed on French Arches paper [copies 21-150] and a deluxe issue printed on Japanese Kochi paper with an original drawing by Larry Rivers [copies 1-20]. However, according to Brad Gooch, 280 "folded paper" copies were printed in addition to the copies on Kochi paper. The regular issue, bound in blue paper wrappers, sold for $1.00; the deluxe hardbound issue on Kochi paper with an original drawing by Rivers for $20.00. (Gooch, City Poet, p. 213.) Not all of the copies in the regular issue were bound, a fact probably explained by the large over-run of 130 copies of the regular issue - twice the number specified in the colophon. These additional copies, for which there may not have been enough of the decorative blue paper used for the original wrappers, appear to have been distributed as unnumbered "folded paper" copies, that is, as "folded and gathered sheets". Of the copies that have come on the market in the past twenty-five years, the majority of copies have been in the form of unbound sheets. O'Hara gave Rivers full credit for getting the book published: "I doubt very much if John Myers would ever have published my first pamphlet, A City Winter, if one of his artists, Larry Rivers, hadn't wanted him to and wanted to do the drawings for it." Rivers was one of the artists represented by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, and its favorite, owing to John Bernard Myers' infatuation with him. "No matter how large Myers' stable of artists became, Rivers was . . . always the showpiece." - Brad Gooch, City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O'Hara (N. Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), p. 199. Between 1951 and 1961, with the exception of two years, Myers devoted the gallery's December show to Rivers' work.
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The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees. Edited by Donald Justice

KEES, Weldon 8vo, full black morocco with blind-stamped initials ("WK") on front cover and gilt lettering on spine, publisher's slipcase. A very fine copy of this rare issue of one of the most beautiful books from the Stone Wall Press, and still the definitive edition of the poet's work, in the rare slipcase which is slightly, faintly stained. A very fine copy of this rare issue of one of the most beautiful books from the Stone Wall Press, and still the definitive edition of the poet's work, in the rare slipcase which is slightly, faintly stained First edition. One of only 20 copies on Rives Heavy, a French mould made paper and bound in full leather, out of a total of 200 copies printed. Berger 8. Dana Gioia has chronicled Kees's posthumous reputation, noting that "Kees's stature among poets has risen steadily since 1960 when Iowa City's fledgling Stone Wall Press posthumously published his Collected Poems in a hand-printed edition of 200 copies. The volume received an extraordinary amount of attention for a fine press book of verse, especially one by a dead Nebraskan poet of limited reputation. The Collected Poems earned substantial notices in the New York Times Book Review, The Hudson Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, The New York Herald Tribune, and Saturday Review. The book's positive reception, however, displayed two significant features that would become constants in restricting Kees's subsequent audience. First, his champions were nearly all poets. Second, the collection they praised was virtually impossible to obtain; its small print run, high price, and severely limited distribution placed it outside the normal channels for trade books." Gioia, the current head of the National Endowment for the Arts and the author of the influential collection of essays Can Poetry Matter? Essays on Poetry and American Culture (1992), finds in Kees a paradigm of the place, or displacement, of poetry in contemporary American academia and culture, observing that "it appears that as Kees's' fame among poets grows ever larger his already marginal critical reputation shrinks further. The disparity between the legion of imaginative writers who admire Kees's work and paucity of academic interest demonstrates that there is something now oddly out of joint between the worlds of poets and literary critics." - Dana Gioia, "The Cult of Weldon Kees", Dana Gioia Online.