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>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Collection of 131 Herbert Ponting gelatin silver contact prints of Antartica, £6000-8000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of several lots of Henri Cartier-Bresson gelatin silver prints, £200-300
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Vintage gelatin silver print of Diego Rivera by Leonard McCombe, £300-500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Julia Margaret Cameron of Sir John Herschel (April, 1867), £30,000-50,000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Julia Margaret Cameron, Love, 1864 (from the Norman album), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print by Lewis Carroll of Twyford School Eleven (Summer Term, 1859), £1000-1500
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Albumen print portrait by Lewis Carroll of Xie Kitchin as 'Dane' (Oxford, 1873), £500-800
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Calotype print (c1845) by Hill & Adamson of Lady Elizabeth (Rigby) Eastlake, £3000-4000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Group of 12 waxed paper negatives of Scottish scenes by Thomas Keith, mid-1850s, £3000-5000
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> One of 15 lots of Roger Fenton salt prints of his work in the Crimea, mid-1850s, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Quarter plate ambrotype (c.1860s) with ethnographic portrait of a woman seated at a table, £400-600
    <b>Dominic Winter, March 9:</b> Rare whole plate thermoplastic union case of the Landing of Columbus (c.1858),part of the John Hannavy collection, £1500-2000
  • <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 Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Caius Julius Hyginus, <i>Poeticon Astronomicon,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1482. $15,000 to $20,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Giovanni Botero, <i>Le Relationi Universali... divise in Sette Parti</i>, Venice, 1618. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> <i>L'Escole des Filles</i>, likely third edition of the first work of pornographic fiction in French, 1676. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Illuminated Book of Hours in Latin on vellum, Flanders, early 16th century. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes Regiomontanus, <i>Calendarium,</i> Venice, 1485. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Pedro de Medina, <i>Libro d[e] gra[n]dezas y cosas memorables de España,</i> Alcalá de Henares, 1566. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:<br>Early Printed, Medical, Scientific & Travel Books</b>
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b><br>Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> Salamanca, circa 1496-97. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Andrés Serrano, <i>Los Siete Principes de los Ángeles, válidos de Rey del Cielo,</i> Spain, 1707. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Mar 8:</b> Johannes de Sacrobosco, <i>Sphaera mundi,</i> first illustrated edition, Venice, 1478. $15,000 to $20,000.
  • <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> A Rare 3-rotor German Enigma I Enciphering Machine. $70,000 to $90,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Important collection of correspondence between Werner Heisenberg and Bruno Rossi. $40,000 to $60,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Walt Whitman Autograph manuscript containing his thoughts on death. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> David Roberts. <i>Holy Land</i>. Six volumes. 1842-1849. First edition. $15,000 to $25,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Extensive collection of Ray Bradbury's primary works, most signed or inscribed. $15,000 to $20,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Peter Force. Declaration of Independence. $12,000 to $18,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Steinbeck. <i>Grapes of Wrath</i>. A fine copy of the first edition. $10,000 to $15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Lewis & Clark. <i>Travels to the Source of the Missouri River</i>... First English edition, extra-illustrated. 1814. $10,000 to 15,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> Manuscript document signed by Nuno de Guzman relating to Hernan Cortes, 1528. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Feb. 11:</b> “Nos los inquisidores..." The first book in English printed West of the Mississippi. [1787]. $5,000 to $8,000.

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