”As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into an enormous insect...”KAFKA, FRANZ Leipzig, 1915
FIRST EDITION, THE PREFERRED ISSUE IN ILLUSTRATED WRAPPER. “On the evening of November 17, 1912, a young employee of the Workmen’s Accident Insurance Agency, in Prague, sat down to work on a ‘troubling little story’ that had occurred to him ‘in bed’ the previous night. After spending the first part of the day in the office, he returned to the apartment he shared with his parents and thee sisters, had lunch, napped, took a walk, and then did a series of strengthening and stretching calisthenics. This was his daily ritual before settling in for the evening – and often far into the night – to what he considered his true life, a life dedicated to writing. Then, whether acting on a long-meditated plan or following an obscure, sudden intuition, he set down the words of the first hammerlike sentence of what would become his most famous story and one of the defining works of modern imaginative fiction, The Metamorphosis…” (Mark M. Anderson, ed. The Metamorphosis). With the famous illustration by Ottomar Starke on the front wrapper. Kafka was adamant that the illustration not depict a bug, writing in a letter to the publishing house: “The insect itself must not be illustrated by a drawing. It cannot be shown at all, not even from a distance.” The Metamorphosis was one of the few works published by Kafka in his lifetime. Leipzig: Kurt Wolff, 1915. Octavo, original illustrated wrappers (dated 1916 as usual) over red paper covers; custom cloth box. A little foxing to front wrapper; text exceptionally clean and fresh. An excellent copy of one of the cornerstones of Western literature.
Fleming, Ian London, 1965
James Bond drank down the rest of his beer and got slowly to his feet. He walked towards Scaramanga and was about to pass him when the man reached out a languid left arm and caught him at the biceps. He held the snout of his gun to his nose, sniffing delicately. The expression in the dead brown eyes was far-away. He said, ‘Mister, there’s something quite extra about the smell of death. Care to try it?’ He held out the glittering gun as if he was offering James Bond a rose… FIRST EDITION, second state (as usual), without the rare gilt golden gun on the front board. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. A FINE COPY.
Signed by Annie LeibovitzLEIBOVITZ, ANNIE New York, 1991
FIRST EDITION, SIGNED BY ANNIE LEIBOVITZ. “I hate the word ‘celebrity.’ I’ve always been more interested in what people do than who they are, and I hope that my photographs reflect that. I have the opportunity to work with people who are the best actors, and writers, and athletes, and dancers–a broad spectrum. I feel like I’m photographing people who matter, in one way or another. I’m photographing my time.”–Annie Leibovitz, in an interview with Literal Magazine Folio, original photo-pictorial boards, original glassine. Minor tears at extremities of rear glassine wrapper. A lovely copy.
GUILLERMUS, BISHOP OF PARIS [WILLIAM OF AUVERGNE] Paris, 1500
THIRD EDITION of William of Auvergne’s meditation on the subject of prayer. This work was first published in 1491 and again in 1492. Octavo. 152 printed leaves. Beautifully rebound in (early) printed leaf over boards with vellum manuscript leaves on paste-downs. Printers device on title and verso of final leaf; rubricated in red and blue. Small hole to margin of first few leaves; occasional light dampstaining to margins; a superb and quite desirable copy.
President Truman on freedom, peace, prosperity and international cooperationTRUMAN, HARRY
“There is not going to be any short-cut to preserving our own freedom or securing the peace fo the world through international cooperation of free and peaceful nations… …I am confident that the American people have never been more strongly united in their determination to preserve our own freedom and to aid friendly nations… …Our actions in the days ahead must reflect that unity and I am confident that all of you will do your utmost to see to it that a united American people overcome the obstacles and dangers which lie between us and our common goal of a just and lasting peace.” TRUMAN, Harry S. Typed Letter Signed. Washington, DC, November 20, 1950. A substantial letter with excellent content from President Truman addressed to Dwight R.G. Palmer, an executive of the Democratic National Committee. In this remarkable letter President Truman makes a forceful and earnest request for support in building a secure and lasting peace in the early post-war period. This letter reflects what historians regard as President Truman’s greatest achievement, i.e., his success in building a secure and stable peace after the Second World War.
"It’s the gas station, that’s the important thing"RUSCHA, ED
“The photography by itself doesn’t mean anything to me: it’s the gas station, that’s the important thing” An exceptional private collection of the artist books of Ed Ruscha. First editions, many signed.
"A girl who had everything...until she lost her life"CHRISTIE, AGATHA London, 1937
First edition superbly bound in modern morocco. She was young, stylish and beautiful. A girl who had everything…until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalled an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: “I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.” Yet in this exotic setting nothing was ever quite what it seemed. A fine copy.
BECKETT, SAMUEL London, 1956
FIRST UK EDITION, translated from the French by Beckett. “Voted the most significant English language play of the 20th century in a British Royal National Theatre poll of 800 playwrights, actors, directors and journalists… Beckett’s naked play about two tramps waiting for Godot has tapped into our 20th-century public consciousness. It seems to express our deepest fears and our deepest knowledge of ourselves and our predicament” (Norman Berlin). “The first production of Beckett’s own English translation, directed by Peter Hall, was staged at the Arts Theatre Club in London in August 1955. Kenneth Tynan’s and Harold Hobson’s reviews made it into an intellectual hit which has since been regarded as having transformed the British stage” (Dictionary of National Biography). Preceded by the first edition (1952, in French) and the first American edition (1954). Octavo, original mustard cloth, original dust jacket. Book near-fine with slight lean; dust jacket with light edgewear, toning to top of rear panel.
editio princeps of the AgamemnonAESCHYLUS [Geneva]: , 1557
FIRST COMPLETE EDITION OF AESCHYLUS. With the editio princeps of the Agamemnon. “An excellent and beautiful edition… It is a much more valuable impression than either of its precursors.. what enhances the value of the edition is, that the Agamemnon is published in it, for the first time, complete.” -Dibdin, An introduction to the knowledge of rare and valuable editions of the Greek and Latin Classics Quarto. Early full tree-calf skillfully rebacked, spine in six compartments, red leather label. Gilt dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Text generallly clean throughout; repaired tear to the lower portion of title page. A handsome copy of an important and distinguished edition.
First edition, with a lengthy inscription by Sherwood AndersonANDERSON, SHERWOOD New York, 1920
FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY SHERWOOD ANDERSON. “Dear David… One incident about the writing of this book will amuse you. The murder of Jim Gibson was written at the back of a little boat-laying place in Mobile Alabama while some sailors at a nearby table discussed the divinity of Christ. Sherwood Anderson.” Octavo, original blue cloth. Dust jacket lacking. Spine sunned, light wear at spine head. A handsome copy with a superb inscription.
First edition, signed by David MametMAMET, DAVID New York, 1976
FIRST EDITION, hardcover issue, SIGNED BY MAMET on dedication page. Winner of the 1976 Obie Award and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best American Play of 1977; made into a 1996 film starring Dustin Hoffman. Octavo, original yellow cloth, original dust jacket; custom half-morocco box. A FINE COPY.
First edition, inscribed by John FanteFANTE, JOHN New York: , 1938
FIRST EDITION, INSCRIBED on the front endpaper. “For Miss Fowler, who taught me all about radio, –– with all good luck / John Fante” Octavo, original cloth, dust jacket. An excellent copy in a superb dust jacket with only minor toning to rear panel.