James S. Jaffe Rare Books Archives - inBiblio
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James S. Jaffe Rare Books

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The New American Poetry: 1945-1960

ALLEN, Donald, editor 8vo, original black cloth, dust jacket. An unusually fine copy. First edition of the most important anthology of post-war American poetry. The contributors include Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky; Barbara Guest, James Schuyler, Edward Field, Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery; Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Denise Levertov, Paul Blackburn, Robert Creeley, Paul Carroll, Larry Eigner, Edward Dorn, Jonathan Williams, Joel Oppenheimer; Helen Adam, Brother Antoninus (William Everson), James Broughton, Madeline Gleason, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Robin Blaser, Jack Spicer, Lew Welch, Richard Duerden, Philip Lamantia, Bruce Boyd, Kirby Doyle, Ebbe Borregaard; Philip Whalen, Gilbert Sorrentino, Stuart Perkoff, Gary Snyder, Edward Marshall, Michael McClure, Ray Bremser, LeRoi Jones, John Wieners, Ron Loewinsohn, David Meltzer. In addition to selections of poems, the anthology includes an addendum of Statements on Poetics by Olson, Duncan, Creeley, Levertov, Ferlinghetti, Spicer, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Schuyler, O’Hara, Whalen, Snyder, McClure, Jones & Wieners. Allen’s The New American Poetry, organized according to schools (e.g., Black Mountain, New York, Beat, etc.), did more than any other book to introduce America to the work of these poets, most of whose work had previously only been available in the form of small press publications. Allen’s anthology virtually defined the landscape and the subsequent discourse of non-academic post-war American poetry. Issued simultaneously in hardcover and paperback, the hardcover first edition in fine condition in dust jacket is rare.
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Lytton Strachey Reading. Original full length pencil portrait of Lytton Strachey sitting in a chair reading, 11 x 9 ½ inches, unsigned and undated but circa 1930

CARRINGTON, Dora Dora Carrington, or Carrington as she was known, was born in 1893 and attended the Slade School of Art from 1910-1914. There a number of her fellow students, notably Mark Gertler, C. R. W. Nevinson, Paul and John fell in love with her. Many more were to follow in their hopeful footsteps during her lifetime, among them Aldous Huxley, but most famously and steadfastly Lytton Strachey, whom she met and fell in love with in 1915. For the next seventeen years, Carrington and Strachey would remain devoted to each other, despite the differences in their sexual orientations, and live together from 1917 until Strachey’s death in 1932. In 1921, when Carrington married Reginald "Ralph" Partridge, Strachey paid for the wedding and accompanied the newlyweds on their honeymoon to Venice. In 1924, he purchased Ham Spray House in Wiltshire for the ménage a trois, with the deed for the house in Partridge’s name. Carrington’s marriage to Partridge collapsed in 1928, and she continued to live at Ham Spray House with Strachey until 1932, when Strachey died of stomach cancer. Two months later, unable to imagine life without Strachey, Carrington shot herself with a gun borrowed from Bryan Guiness. As an artist, Carrington was not well known as an artist during her lifetime beyond her immediate circle of friends and acquaintances, although the woodblock prints she made for the Omega Workshops and the Hogarth Press were highly regarded. Today, her portraits and landscapes, which she refused to sign or exhibited, have elicited renewed interest and admiration. In 1995, Carrington was the subject of the film of the same name starring Emma Thompson and Jonathan Pryce, who won the Cannes Film Festival’s award for best actor for his role as Lytton Strachey. On the back of the frame is the label of Anthony d’Offay. A splendid memento. Framed and glazed.
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Duineser Elegien

RILKE, Rainer Maria Large 4to, original quarter green morocco and paper covered boards. Spine a trifle rubbed, otherwise a fine copy, in a quarter leather and cloth folding box. Spine a trifle rubbed, otherwise a fine copy, in a quarter leather and cloth folding box First edition of Rilke’s Duino Elegies, arguably the greatest work of lyric poetry of the twentieth century. Deluxe large-paper issue, of which 300 numbered copies were printed in red & black on hand-made Zanders watermarked paper by Tiemann-Antiqua von Gebr, the first 100 copies of which were bound in full green morocco, with the remaining 200 copies bound in quarter morocco and boards as here. Huenich p. 92. Ritzer E9. Rilke’s poems, especially his Duino Elegies & Sonnets To Orpheus, are among the most precious legacies of twentieth century literature. The story of the creation of Rilke’s two masterpieces is legendary: how the first words came to him in the sea wind on the rocks outside Duino Castle in 1912; & how, after a hiatus of ten years, Rilke completed not only the Duino Elegies, only two of which had been written at the time, but wrote the entire fifty-nine Sonnets To Orpheus within the space of a month in Muzot, Switzerland, in 1922. To those for whom poetry has long ceased to be the fatuous rhetoric of public performance, the compelling intimacy of Rilke’s poems represents the true essence of poetry. As Robert Hass has written: That voice of Rilke’s poems, calling us out of ourselves, or calling us into the deepest places in ourselves, is very near to what people mean by poetry. (Looking For Rilke). As William Gass, the most recent translator & guide to Rilke, put it: . his work has taught me what real art ought to be; how it can matter to a life through its lifetime; how commitment can course like blood through the body of your words until the writing stirs, rises, opens its eyes; and, finally, because his work allows me to measure what we call achievement: how tall he is, how small mine. – Reading Rilke (N. Y.: 1999).
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Duineser Elegien

RILKE, Rainer Maria Large 4to, original pale blue boards with printed label on upper cover, publisher’s card slipcase with printed label. Spine faded, otherwise a very good copy, in partially faded slipcase with some splitting at edges. Spine faded, otherwise a very good copy, in partially faded slipcase with some splitting at edges First edition of Rilke’s Duino Elegies, arguably the greatest work of lyric poetry of the twentieth century. Deluxe large-paper issue, of which 300 numbered copies were printed in red & black on hand-made Zanders watermarked paper by Tiemann-Antiqua von Gebr, the first 100 copies of which were bound in full green morocco, with the remaining 200 copies issued in either quarter morocco and boards or in pale blue boards, as here. Huenich p. 92. Ritzer E9. Rilke’s poems, especially his Duino Elegies & Sonnets To Orpheus, are among the most precious legacies of twentieth century literature. The story of the creation of Rilke’s two masterpieces is legendary: how the first words came to him in the sea wind on the rocks outside Duino Castle in 1912; & how, after a hiatus of ten years, Rilke completed not only the Duino Elegies, only two of which had been written at the time, but wrote the entire fifty-nine Sonnets To Orpheus within the space of a month in Muzot, Switzerland, in 1922. To those for whom poetry has long ceased to be the fatuous rhetoric of public performance, the compelling intimacy of Rilke’s poems represents the true essence of poetry. As Robert Hass has written: That voice of Rilke’s poems, calling us out of ourselves, or calling us into the deepest places in ourselves, is very near to what people mean by poetry. (Looking For Rilke). As William Gass, the most recent translator & guide to Rilke, put it: . his work has taught me what real art ought to be; how it can matter to a life through its lifetime; how commitment can course like blood through the body of your words until the writing stirs, rises, opens its eyes; and, finally, because his work allows me to measure what we call achievement: how tall he is, how small mine. – Reading Rilke (N. Y.: 1999).
The Poems by John Ashbery. Prints by Joan Mitchell [with:] Permanently by Kenneth Koch. Prints by Alfred Leslie [with:] Odes by Frank O'Hara. Prints by Michael Goldberg [with:] Salute by James Schuyler. Prints by Grace Hartigan

The Poems by John Ashbery. Prints by Joan Mitchell [with:] Permanently by Kenneth Koch. Prints by Alfred Leslie [with:] Odes by Frank O’Hara. Prints by Michael Goldberg [with:] Salute by James Schuyler. Prints by Grace Hartigan

ASHBERY, John, et al. Four volumes, folio, illustrated with original screen-prints, original cloth-backed illustrated paper over boards, acetate dust jackets, publisher’s cloth slipcase. A very fine copy. First edition. One of 200 numbered copies signed by the authors and the artists from a total edition of 225 (the 25 contributors’ copies were not signed). Each volume includes five original color prints on ivory wove handmade Hahnemühle paper made directly on the screens by the individual artists. "Abstract expressionist artists . . . were not particularly involved with printmaking or encouraged to create artists’ books. . . . Another significant and undervalued exception . . . are four oversize books by the New York School of poets, each paired with large, colorful screen-prints by four second-generation abstract expressionist artists. . . . Each bound volume in the untitled boxed set contains five screen-prints, including the title page and covers. This is Hartigan’s only book illustrated with original prints." "These four volumes – The Poems, Permanently, Salute, and Odes – were a collaboration between four leading artists of the second-generation of abstract expressionist painters and four of their poet friends of the New York School. The screen print medium that was chosen was the perfect vehicle to convey painterly gesture and saturated color. Along with 21 Etchings and Poems (1960) published by the Morris Gallery, N.Y., these four volumes published by the Tiber Press were the only distinguished artists’ books containing abstract expressionist works created during the 1950s." – Robert Flynn Johnson, Artists’ Books in the Modern Era 1870-2000. The Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books. (London): Thames & Hudson, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, (2001), pp. 43, 226-227; item 142. Jerry Kelly, Riva Castleman, and Anne H. Hoy, The Best of Both Worlds: Finely Printed Livres d’Artistes, 1910-2010 (N. Y.: & Boston: The Grolier Club & David R. Godine, (2011), item 38.
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A City Winter and Other Poems. Two Drawings by Larry Rivers

O'HARA, Frank Tall 8vo, original frontispiece drawing & reproductions of two drawings by Larry Rivers, original cloth-backed decorated boards. Covers a bit faded, otherwise a fine copy. Covers a bit faded, otherwise a fine copy First edition of O’Hara’s first book, the birth of the New York School of Poetry. One of 20 copies printed by hand in Bodoni types on Japanese Kochi paper by Ruthven Todd for Editions of the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, specially bound with an original drawing by Larry Rivers as a frontispiece; this copy number 8. The drawing in this copy, a beautiful drawing of a reclining nude woman, is signed by Rivers. According to the colophon, A City Winter was published in March-April 1952 in an edition of 150 numbered copies, in two forms: a regular issue of 130 copies printed on French Arches paper [copies 21-150] and a deluxe issue printed on Japanese Kochi paper with an original drawing by Larry Rivers [copies 1-20]. However, according to Brad Gooch, 280 "folded paper" copies were printed in addition to the copies on Kochi paper. The regular issue, bound in blue paper wrappers, sold for $1.00; the deluxe hardbound issue on Kochi paper with an original drawing by Rivers for $20.00. (Gooch, City Poet, p. 213.) Not all of the copies in the regular issue were bound, a fact probably explained by the large over-run of 130 copies of the regular issue – twice the number specified in the colophon. These additional copies, for which there may not have been enough of the decorative blue paper used for the original wrappers, appear to have been distributed as unnumbered "folded paper" copies, that is, as "folded and gathered sheets". Of the copies that have come on the market in the past twenty-five years, the majority of copies have been in the form of unbound sheets. O’Hara gave Rivers full credit for getting the book published: "I doubt very much if John Myers would ever have published my first pamphlet, A City Winter, if one of his artists, Larry Rivers, hadn’t wanted him to and wanted to do the drawings for it." Rivers was one of the artists represented by the Tibor de Nagy Gallery, and its favorite, owing to John Bernard Myers’ infatuation with him. "No matter how large Myers’ stable of artists became, Rivers was . . . always the showpiece." – Brad Gooch, City Poet: The Life and Times of Frank O’Hara (N. Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, 1993), p. 199. Between 1951 and 1961, with the exception of two years, Myers devoted the gallery’s December show to Rivers’ work.
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The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees. Edited by Donald Justice

KEES, Weldon 8vo, full black morocco with blind-stamped initials ("WK") on front cover and gilt lettering on spine, publisher’s slipcase. A very fine copy of this rare issue of one of the most beautiful books from the Stone Wall Press, and still the definitive edition of the poet’s work, in the rare slipcase which is slightly, faintly stained. A very fine copy of this rare issue of one of the most beautiful books from the Stone Wall Press, and still the definitive edition of the poet’s work, in the rare slipcase which is slightly, faintly stained First edition. One of only 20 copies on Rives Heavy, a French mould made paper and bound in full leather, out of a total of 200 copies printed. Berger 8. Dana Gioia has chronicled Kees’s posthumous reputation, noting that "Kees’s stature among poets has risen steadily since 1960 when Iowa City’s fledgling Stone Wall Press posthumously published his Collected Poems in a hand-printed edition of 200 copies. The volume received an extraordinary amount of attention for a fine press book of verse, especially one by a dead Nebraskan poet of limited reputation. The Collected Poems earned substantial notices in the New York Times Book Review, The Hudson Review, Partisan Review, Poetry, The New York Herald Tribune, and Saturday Review. The book’s positive reception, however, displayed two significant features that would become constants in restricting Kees’s subsequent audience. First, his champions were nearly all poets. Second, the collection they praised was virtually impossible to obtain; its small print run, high price, and severely limited distribution placed it outside the normal channels for trade books." Gioia, the current head of the National Endowment for the Arts and the author of the influential collection of essays Can Poetry Matter? Essays on Poetry and American Culture (1992), finds in Kees a paradigm of the place, or displacement, of poetry in contemporary American academia and culture, observing that "it appears that as Kees’s’ fame among poets grows ever larger his already marginal critical reputation shrinks further. The disparity between the legion of imaginative writers who admire Kees’s work and paucity of academic interest demonstrates that there is something now oddly out of joint between the worlds of poets and literary critics." – Dana Gioia, "The Cult of Weldon Kees", Dana Gioia Online.