Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - October - 2014 Issue

Modern Literature from Ken Lopez, Bookseller

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Modern Literature.

Ken Lopez, Bookseller has issued Catalog 163 – Modern Literature. “Modern” means overwhelmingly 20th century, mostly the second half of the century, and occasionally even more recent. Most items, as we might expect, are books, but there are manuscripts, letters, typescripts, magazine articles, and such. Much of the material was groundbreaking, or strange, depending on your point of view, in its time. Here are a few items from this selection of literary modernity.

 

We will start with a very rare book, a first edition, 14th printing of J. D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, published in 1951. No, it's not being a 14th issue that makes it rare. What is unusual is that this copy has been inscribed by Salinger. As anyone at all familiar with Salinger knows, the man quickly became reclusive to the extreme. He gave virtually no interviews, kept away from the public. Salinger was not going out to do book signings and schmooze with his fans. Salinger moved out of New York in 1953, but in 1959 he did stop by the offices of the New Yorker for a visit. While there, he signed a few books. This one he dated and inscribed, “To Pearl Bsharah, with best wishes from J. D. Salinger.” Pearl Bsharah worked at the New Yorker. Item 164. Priced at $40,000.

 

Salinger wasn't the only new writer to appear at the beginning of the second half of the 20th century. Isaac Asimov had been writing short stories for magazines for a decade before he began publishing novels. Item 15 is Asimov's The Currents of Space, published in 1952. He was most noted for works of science fiction, such as this, even if he was not fond of the term. This was his eighth publication, which does not sound like it would be early in his career, until you realize he wrote over 300 books. This copy is inscribed by the author. $250.

 

As long as we are focused on authors who burst onto the scene in the early 1950's, here is yet another – Jack Kerouac. Item 90 is Kerouac's A Vegum Uti. Not familiar with that title? Of course you are. This is the Icelandic version of On the Road. They didn't get around to publishing an Icelandic edition until 1988. I am guessing that even many dedicated Kerouac collectors don't have a copy of this, so here's your chance. This copy has been signed by the translator, Olafur Gunnarsson. $150.

 

Here is another, even later edition of On the Road. This one is titled On The Road. The Original Scroll. Rather than typing on sheets, like most people in the era of typewriters, Kerouac used a long roll of paper. In 2007, the original publisher, Viking, republished this scroll version. No, it is not a 120-foot long piece of paper. Rather, it reprints the original, unedited version of the book as it appeared on the scroll, including the actual names of the participants. Item 91 is a pre-publication advance copy. $250.

 

We now make a brief side trip to the world of science, or as scientific as one could hope for a book entitled An Experiment in Dream Telepathy with “The Grateful Dead.” This was study conducted by Stanley Krippner using a concert by the dreamy “Dead” as one end of the telepathic phone line. The idea was suggested to him by none other than Jerry Garcia himself. The audience was shown a picture, chosen by flipping a coin and calling “heads” or “tails.” “Heads” must have held sway. The concert goers were told to telepathically transmit what they were seeing to a recipient in the Maimonides Medical Center 45 miles away. What a long, strange trip those images took. The conclusion was that it worked, though I wonder whether this was more like after-the-fact conclusions that everything that has ever happened was predicted by Nostradamus, though we have to wait until after the predicted event occurs to realize it. The dreams the recipient had were vaguely similar, which is to say, they were similar to the images displayed at the concert if you wanted to believe they were similar. Item 73, published in 1971. $750.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> E.H. SHEPARD, Original drawing for A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner.<br>$40,000-60,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> BERNARD RATZER, Plan of the City of New York in North America, surveyed in the years 1766 & 1767. $80,000-100,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> THOMAS JEFFERSON, Autograph letter signed comparing Logan, Tecumseh, and Little Turtle to the Spartans. Monticello: 15 February 1821. $14,000-18,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN C. FREMONT, Narrative of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains, in the Year 1842.. Abridged edition, the only one containing the folding map From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $3,000-5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ZANE GREY, Album containing 94 large format photographs of Grey and party at Catalina Island, Arizona, and fishing in the Pacific. From the Sporting Library of Arnold “Jake” Johnson. $5,000-$8,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> WILLIAM COMBE, A History of Madeira ... illustrative of the Costumes, Manners, and Occupations of the Inhabitants. produced by Ackermann in 1821; From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> ERIC TAVERNER, Salmon Fishing... One of 275 copies signed by Taverner, published in 1931,From the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN WHITEHEAD, Exploration of Mount Kina Balu, North Borneo. Whitehead reached the high point of Kinabalu in 1888. Part of a major group of travel books from the Sporting Library of Jake Johnson. $2,000-$3,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> JOHN LONG, Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, describing the Manners and Customs of the North American Indians... The first edition of 1791. $3,000-$5,000
    <b>Doyle, April 25:</b> SAMUEL BECKETT, Stirrings Still. This, Beckett’s last work of fiction with original lithographs by Le Brocquy, limited to 200 copies signed by the author and the artist. From the Estate of Howard Kaminsky.. $1,500-$2,500
  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, wallpaper sample book, circa 1919. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Archive from a late office of the Breuer & Smith architectural team, New York, 1960-70s. $3,500 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> William Morris, <i>The Story of the Glittering Plain or the Land of Living Men,</i> illustrated by Walter Crane, Kelmscott Press, Hammersmith, 1894. $2,500 to $3,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustave Doré, <i>La Sainte Bible selon la Vulgate,</i> Tours, 1866. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Gustav Klimt & Max Eisler, <i>Eine Nachlese,</i> complete set, Vienna, 1931. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>Eric Allatini & Gerda Wegener, <i>Sur Talons Rouges,</i> with original watercolor by Wegener, Paris, 1929. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>C.P. Cavafy, <i>Fourteen Poems,</i> illustrated & signed by David Hockney, London, 1966. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b> Jean Midolle, <i>Spécimen des Écritures Modernes...</i>, Strasbourg, 1834-35. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Apr 26:</b><br>E.A. Seguy, <i>Floréal: Dessins & Coloris Nouveaux,</i> Paris, 1925. $3,000 to $4,000.
  • <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> BEETHOVEN, LUDWIG VAN. Autograph Manuscript sketch-leaf part of the score of the Scottish Songs, "Sunset" Op. 108 no 2. [Vienna, February 1818]. Inscribed by Alexander Wheelock Thayer. SOLD for $131,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> Violin belonging to Albert Einstein, presented to him by Oscar H. Steger, 1933. SOLD for $516,500
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> EINSTEIN, ALBERT. Autograph Letter Signed ("Papa") to his son Hans Albert, discussing his involvement with the atomic bomb, September 2, 1945. SOLD for $106,250
    <b>Bonhams: Results from Fine Books and Manuscripts on March 9, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> HAMILTON, ALEXANDER. Autograph Letter Signed, to Baron von Steuben, with extensive notes of Von Steuben's aide Benjamin Walker, June 12, 1780. SOLD for $16,250
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> NEWTON, ISAAC. Autograph Manuscript in Latin, being detailed instructions on making the philosopher's stone. 8 pp. 1790s. SOLD for $275,000
    <b>Bonhams, Mar. 9:</b> 1869 Inauguration Bible of President Ulysses S. Grant. SOLD for $118,750

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