"And he no longer cared to tell which were things done and which dreamt": First Edition of Cormac McCarthy’s First Book The Orchard Keeper; Inscribed by Him To Close Friend John Sheddan

  • The Orchard Keeper.
  • The Orchard Keeper.

The Orchard Keeper.


Item Number: 55048

New York: Random House, 1965.

First edition of McCarthy’s first book. Octavo, original half cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author in a contemporary hand on the front free endpaper, “To John Sheddan Cormac McCarthy.” The recipient John Sheddan was a close friend of McCarthy’s. “Some of McCarthy’s friends claim that the character Gene Harrogate (a character in McCarthy’s novel, Suttree), or at least his watermelon venture, was based in some way on John Sheddan, “scholar, schemer, hustler, melon paramour” (Gibson 23)… However in a letter of response to Gibson’s article, Knoxvillian Buzz Kelley writes that Sheddan was “probably McCarthy’s best and most loyal friend from the Knoxville crowd,” holder of two master’s degrees, and not at all “a violator of vegetables nor one to fornicate with fruits” (Dianne C. Luce, Reading the World: Cormac McCarthy’s Tennessee Period). Near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An excellent association.

The novels of Cormac McCarthy owe much to William Faulkner, especially in their "use of dialect and concrete sense of the world— a debt McCarthy does not dispute. ‘The ugly fact is books are made out of books,’ he says. ‘The novel depends for its life on the novels that have been written.' "Cormac McCarthy is expert in generating an emotional climate, in suggesting instead of in stating, in creating a long succession of brief, dramatic scenes described with flashing visual impact" (The New York Times).

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