Rare Book Monthly

Book Catalogue Reviews - September - 2007 Issue

Modern Literature From Ken Lopez Bookseller

Lopez145

Catalogue 145 of Modern Literature from Ken Lopez.


By Michael Stillman

Ken Lopez Bookseller
has issued his 145th catalogue of Modern Literature. Most works are from the second half of the 20th century, though dates range from 1899 to the very modern 2007. That lone 19th century listing is Kate Chopin's The Awakening, an early example of what is seen as a modern feminist novel. In all, 240 items are offered. A great many are first editions, often first books by a noted author. Here are a few samples of what is in store for those who collect modern literature.

Item 240 is an unusual advance reading copy of Harper Lee's only novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. This look at racial discrimination in the South in the early days of the civil rights movement provided the nation with serious issues it needed to confront. However, this advance copy for the sales force describes the book as more fun than serious. The publisher says it is rushing this copy to its salesmen so they "may share with us the rare fun and lift in the discovery of a new, fresh talent." Truman Capote chips in, "...a writer with the liveliest sense of life, and the warmest, most authentic humor. A touching book, and so funny, so likeable." That's an odd description for this book. However, the publishers were dead on when they said, "It will...furnish a jackpot of bestseller sales for you during the summer." Priced at $7,500.

The Satanic Verses is one of the most known works of the past few decades, though not for the reasons author Salmon Rushdie might have hoped. This was the book that put Rushdie under a death threat from the fanatic Ayatollahs of Iran. Rushdie spent many years in hiding as a result. Before the Ayatollahs got their copy of his book, about twenty copies of a photocopied typescript, complete with author's corrections, were put together for Viking's staff. This is one such prepublication copy, inscribed by Rushdie to a member of the sales staff. Item 185. $3,500.

Item 34 is the first Ballantine paperback edition (from 1965) of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. This look at a violent and authoritarian future would become better known after the Stanley Kubrick film of the same name was released in 1971. This copy is inscribed by Burgess on the title page and signed by William Burroughs, who provided a blurb, on the rear cover. $375.

Speaking of Burroughs, item 35 is a copy of his first book, Junkie. Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict. Burroughs published this book in 1953 under the pseudonym "William Lee." Publisher Ace decided to promote this as an anti-drug book, so they bound it together with Maurice Helbrant's memoir Narcotic Agent. $1,750.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <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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