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>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Luis de Lucena, <i>Arte de Ajedres,</i> first edition of the earliest extant manual on modern chess, Salamanca, circa 1496-97. Sold for $68,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans & abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold for $47,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Gustav Klimt, <i>Das Werk,</i> Vienna & Leipzig, 1918. Sold for $106,250.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Man Ray, <i>[London Transport] – Keeps London Going,</i> 1938. Sold for $149,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Thomas Jefferson, Letter Signed, to Major-General Nathanael Greene, promising reinforcements against Cornwallis, 1781. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Nicolas de Fer, <i>L’Amerique Divisee Selon Letendue de ses Principales Parties,</i> Paris, 1713. Sold for $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Russell H. Tandy, <i>The Secret in the Old Attic,</i> watercolor, pencil & ink, 1944. Sold for $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Hemingway, <i>Three Stories & Ten Poems,</i> first edition of the author's first book, Paris, 1923. Sold for $23,750.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Walker Evans, <i>River Rouge Plant,</i> silver print, 1947. Sold for $57,500.
  • <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Ernst, Max. <i>Mr. Knife and Miss Fork</i>. Paris, 1932. DELUXE EDITION. Sold for $15,625
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Cage, John. Autograph musical leaf from his Concert for Piano and Orchestra, NY, 1958. Sold for $18,750
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Einstein, Albert. Signed Passport Photo for his US citizenship application. Bermuda, 1935. Sold for $17,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Verard, Antoine. Illuminated printed Book of Hours. Paris, 1507. Sold for $7,500
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Wetterkurzschlussel. German Weather Report Codebook - for Enigma use. Berlin, 1942. Sold for $225,000
    <b>Bonhams: September 25, New York</b>
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Morelos y Pavon, Jose Maria. Autograph letter signed to El Virrey Venegas, February 5, 1812. Sold for $6,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Milne, A.A. Complete set of <i>Winnie-the-Pooh</i> books. 4 volumes. All first issue points. London, 1924-1928. Sold for $5,250
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> A 48-star American Flag, battle worn flown at Guadalcanal and Peleliu, 1942-1944. Sold for $35,000
    <b>Bonhams, June 12 results:</b> Locke, John. Autograph Letter Signed mourning the death of his friend, William Molyneaux, 2 pp, October 27, 1698. Sold for $20,000
  • <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>

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