Category Bibliotaphy

Bibliotaphy 7: Remarks on Hawthorne’s Tanglewood Tales

I’ve been fortunate to come across yet another fine copy of one of Hawthorne’s books. Why any human would discard such a precious, rare book, I do not know. Since one man’s trash is old Hank’s treasure, I cannot complain. I only hope that one day I will find myself in the Custom  House with […]

Bibliotaphy 6: Thoughts on the U.S. Editions of Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom

Little is written about the Dutch writer Cees Nooteboom in the U.S. This is due to many factors. First, the historical presence of the Dutch language and culture in North America is largely a memory, if it is even that. Reduced to a microscopic field in academia, the study of The Netherlands and its rich literature […]

Bibliotaphy 5: Ruminations on the 1st US edition of Kierkegaard’s “Stages on Life’s Way”

Philosophical and literary interest in the writings of Soren Kierkegaard, sparked in 1879 by the publication of the first biography about his life and work, lasted well into the late 20th century. In the United States, that interest was sustained by the efforts of Princeton University Press, which published the first well-edited and designed translations […]

Bibliotaphy 4: Interlude

Several interesting foreign editions turned up while I rummaged in town. A Gallimard edition of Jean Paul Sartre’s book on Flaubert turned up at a reasonable price, and in excellent condition. The Italian books held a few strange items. First, an Einaudi edition of Calvino’s T con Zero, in paperback with its great jacket art, […]

Bibliotaphy 3: The Singular Office of Gregor Samsa: A First U.S. Edition of J.M. Coetzee’s The Life & Times of Michael K

Bibliotaphy 3: The Singular Office of Gregor Samsa: A First U.S. Edition of J.M. Coetzee’s The Life & Times of Michael K Title: The Life & Times of Michael K (Viking, 1984) A November Friday, the sun has set but automobiles bloat the lot. It’s a pay day after all, and I pause to look […]

Bibliotaphy 2: A Note on the Type, or Two American Editions of Michel Houellebecq

Titles: The Elementary Particles (Knopf, 2000) and Platform (Knopf, 2003) [The English translation of the writer’s latest novel, Submission, was published this week in the United States. To commemorate the event, I dedicate a blog post to editions of two of his books that I prefer most of all]. The book scavenger is the bastard […]

Bibliotaphy 1: Thoughts on an edition of Kathy Acker’s novels

Title: Literal Madness (Grove Press, 1988). Contents: – Kathy Goes to Haiti (first published in 1978 in a limited small press edition),  My Death My Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini (first published by Pan Books [UK] in 1984), Florida (first publication, 1988). This title ambushed me while I was on a weekly book scrounging trip. […]

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