Rare Book Monthly

Articles - November - 2012 Issue

The Gutenberg of clear thinking traced to Poughkeepsie

Liars 1

The truth about lying

Sellers of all sorts and auction houses across the spectrum, surprisingly do not get the many chapters they deserve but can take solace in knowing its because the rooms of the iniquitous are jammed to the rafters.  Sinning is common; it is virtue that is rare.  As in all aspects of life there is competition for recognition and God help those who get it.  In particular those who copy the descriptions that others have labored over should feel this book is written for them.  In fact a few may soon decide they wrote it.  The next chapter then pounds the peg in deeper “The man who exaggerates…”.  Here we learn that miscreants abound, the author enumerating with inventive description the many ways and levels in which the truth becomes the greased pig disappearing into the dark of night.  It’s not a wonder that we lie.  It’s a wonder we tell the truth at all, and even then, it’s often to wrap a whopper in credibility.  Mr. Wilson it turns out is Socrates on the Hudson.

Those who buy books are of course not spared for they are optimistic when buying and disingenuous to the extreme in later explaining their passion to partners and spouses who in turn must labor hard to act believing while awaiting the day the dustman can be called to cart away the dusty crap.

And because misadventures with words are as natural today as they were 101 years ago this book[let] remains highly relevant.  It turns out some things are immutable.  So the final chapters offer some perspective on the Presidential election now concluding – offering suggestions to the wayward campaigns whose alternate realities recently crossed paths during the debates.  Someone was not telling the truth and Mr. Wilson offers us perspective on this shattering recognition.  No doubt persons of all persuasions will, if they take a few minutes to read this fine work, find both solace and insult in sufficient volume to feel equally enlightened and abused by the experience.

This said, abused or not, insulted or not, its important to vote.  Of course, if you don’t you can always lie about it.  The Poughkeepsie Bard has you covered.

In the meantime this rare pamphlet has been unearthed.  In its inevitable forward progress up through the ranks of the merely collectible onto the lists of “essential” its value will rise like a helium balloon in July.  Along the way dealers and auction houses will cajole and coerce for the opportunity to re-sell, inciting phantom competitors and quoting evidence of broad interest to explain ever-higher emerging valuations.  Gems after all are to be treasured and this one no doubt will soon be ensconced in a velvet-lined box, the mark of a gentleman’s book.  In time forgers will enter the realm for books of simple construction and high value command their disproportionate attention.  In time rumors will abound and special knowledge be required to separate the real from the unreal.  Controversies will break out.  For the Bard of course this is all to the good.  His book[let] that apparently never saw a second printing will now never know another moment of peace.  Its return to public view will occur with less regularity than Americans choose their Presidents but each time the copy returns all that has been said about humanity in this little book will be solemnly reconfirmed.

The full text is provided on page 3. 


Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> Scott Joplin, <i>Treemonisha: Opera in Three Acts,</i> New York, 1911. Sold March 24 — $40,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Louisa May Alcott, autograph letter signed, 1868. Sold June 2 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Anne Bradstreet, <i>Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning, full of Delight,</i> Boston, 1758. Sold June 2 — $21,250.
    <b>Swann:</b> William Shakespeare, <i>Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. Published according to the true Originall Copies. The Second Impression,</i> London, 1632. Sold May 5 — $161,000.
    <center><b>Swann Auction Galleries<br>View Our Record Breaking Results</b>
    <b>Swann:</b> John Bachmann, <i>Panorama of the Seat of War,</i> New York, 1861-62. Sold June 23 — $35,000.
    <b>Swann:</b> Charlotte Bronte, <i>Jane Eyre,</i> first edition, London, 1847. Sold June 16 — $23,750.
    <b>Swann:</b> Elihu Vedder, <i>Simple Simon, His Book,</i> 1913. Sold June 9 — $12,350.
    <b>Swann:</b> Frederick Catherwood, <i>Views of Ancient Monuments in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan,</i> London, 1844. Sold April 7 — $37,500.
  • <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 1805 TN Supreme Court Book, John Overton and Hugh White Opinions. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> TN Lunsford Bramlett Archive, incl. Polk White House Invitation, 8 Items. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Civil War Archive, incl. Gen. Bate on Death of Polk, Capture of Nashville. $2,000 to $2,400.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 5 Dickens 1st Ed. Books, incl. Edited by Author. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Charles Dickens, 5 Christmas Books, 1st Eds. $800 to $1,000.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 2 Slave Documents, Nashville TN & North Carolina. $700 to $900.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 3 Maurice Sendak Signed Items, incl. Nutcracker, Pierre. $500 to $600.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 7 Phillip Roth Hardcover Books, incl. Author Signed, 1st Eds. $500 to $550.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 6 Kurt Vonnegut Hardcover Books, incl. Author Signed, 1st Eds. $400 to $500.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Auction<br>July 9 & 10, 2022</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> 3 Edward Gorey Items, incl. Print + 2 Books. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Josef Albers, INTERACTION OF COLOR, 1963. $800 to $900.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 9-10:</b> Henri Matisse Jazz Portfolio for MOMA, 1st Ed., 1983. $600 to $800.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions