First Edition of John Updike's Self-Consciousness: Memoirs; Inscribed by Him
Item Number: 19053
New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989.
First edition. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author to noted book collector Stratford Carter on the half title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket.
John Updike’s memoirs consist of six Emersonian essays that together trace the inner shape of the life, up to the age of fifty-five, of a relatively fortunate American male. The author has attempted, his foreword states, “to treat this life, this massive datum which happens to be mine, as a specimen life, representative in its odd uniqueness of all the oddly unique lives in this world.” In the service of this metaphysical effort, he has been hair-raisingly honest, matchlessly precise, and self-effacingly humorous. He takes the reader beyond self-consciousness, and beyond self-importance, into sheer wonder at the miracle of existence.