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"ALL 'CLASSES' FOR EXPERIENCE AND LEARNING – BUT I DO PREFER 'NON-LITERARY' PEOPLE LIKE WAITERS, TRUCKDRIVERS, GIRLS, CARPENTERS, CLAM DIGGERS, RAILROAD MEN, SEA MEN, OLD MILLIONAIRES, ALL THE 'CHARACTERS'”; SCARCE JACK KEROUAC AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED LETTER
Jack Kerouac’s candid handwritten reply to a young man’s questions about being a “Beatnik,” his life philosophy, his thoughts on Montana, and more. Students in Robert Dodd’s ninth-grade class were given an assignment to contact their favorite writer with their own unique series of questions relating specifically to that writer. The young Dodd chose Jack Kerouac, and the author replied at length to his questionnaire, which includes queries about his classification as a “Beatnik” (his answer: “I never was a Beatnik – it was the newspapers and critics who tagged that label on me….”), life philosophy (“My philosophy is ‘No Philosophy,’ just ‘Things-As-They-Are’”), career goals (“Be a great writer making everybody believe in Heaven”), the ideal way of life (“Hermit in the woods…”), his thoughts on fame (“My name is like Crackerjacks, famous, but very few people buy my books…”), and segregation (“[t]he Irish and Italians of Massachusetts never paraded in protest, just worked hard and made it”). Interestingly, Kerouac is most expansive in response to the final question: whether he has visited Montana. His answer fills three-quarters of the page, beginning: “Great day, my favorite state! – I wrote about Montana in ‘On the Road’ but the publishers took it out behind my back… I stayed one night, but up all night, in a saloon in Butte, to keep out of the 40-below February cold, among sheep ranchers playing poker.” Two pages with Dodd’s questions type-written and Kerouac’s responses handwritten in full. The letter reads in full, “To Robert Dodd from Jack Kerouac Feb. 28th 1964.” 1. In Town and the Country (Kerouac crosses out Country for City) your style of writing is much different from The Lonesome Traveler. Do you change your style with the type of story? Kerouac responds: “‘The Town and the City’ was my first, youngman novel when I was just starting out, trying to write like Thomas Wolfe – ‘Lonesome Traveler’ is a product of my own style which I developed in later years, ‘spontaneous writing’ with no looking back, in my own laws of story telling – OUTERSPACE PROSE! My own original invention.” 2. Many people have referred to you as a “beatnik” or a “way out” writer. Do you feel this way about yourself? “‘Way-out’ yes, but I never was a beatnik – it was the newspapers and critics who tagged that label on me – I never had a beard, never wore sandals, avoided the company of Bohemians and their politics and always had a job on the road like in ‘Lonesome T.’ on railroad, ships etc.” 3. Some people refer to your thinking as existentialism where man makes his own destiny. Just what is your philosophy of life? “My philosophy now is “no-philosophy,” just “Things – As – They – Are”. 4. What goal are you trying to reach in your career? “Be a great writer making everybody believe in Heaven.” 5. What do you think is the ideal way of life? “Hermit in the woods, one-room cabin, wood stove, oil lamp, books, food, outhouse, no electricity, just creek or brook water, sleep, hiking, nothing-to-do-(Chinese Wu Wei).” 6. Do you like fame or would you rather write and have only your works become famous? “My name is like Crackerjacks, famous, but very few people buy my books because they’ve been told by newspapers and critics that I’m crazy, so I’m almost broke now 1964 – I hate fame without fortune, which is really INFAMY AND RIDICULE, in my case.” 7. From your many books I see that you must travel a lot. Do you try to mix in with different classes or do you stick to one? “All ‘classes’ for experience and learning – but I do prefer ‘non-literary’ people like waiters, truckdrivers, girls, carpenters, clam diggers, railroad men, sea men, old millionaires, all the ‘characters’.” 8. Does the West coast influence an author’s style differently than the East coast? “No – I and the “Beats” came from the East Coast and just rode out there, no special difference in style except a little on subject matter, i.e. open-spaces country.” 9. What is your favorite subject matter? “That everybody goes to Heaven – read “Visions of Gerard” (about Lowell in 1926).” 10. Here in Boston there is much controversy over segregation of the negroes. What is your stand on the issue? “They need jobs, naturally, and education for better jobs – But the Irish and Italians of Massachusetts never paraded in protest, just worked harder, and made it.” 11. Do you plan to visit the East coast, especially the Boston area soon? “Yeh – “lecture” dinner at Harvard soon – I live in Long Island since 1958 so I can’t exactly “visit” the Ease Coast, hey,” – 12. Have you ever been to Montana and, if you have, what were your views on it? “Great day, my favorite state! – I wrote about Montana in “On the Road” but the publishers took it out behind my back – I stayed one night, up all night, in a saloon in Butte, to keep out of the 40- below February cold, among sheep ranchers playing poker (with sheep dogs at their feet), red-eyed drunken Indians drinking out of bottles in the john, Chinese gamblers, women, cowboys, miners – And outside of Butte, at Three Forks Montana, I saw the source of the Missouri River in the snowy valley – I also heard wolves howl in the Bitterroot Mountains – But I didn’t like Missoula much (skiers etc.) – I would like to have a summer cabin in Montana some day, the last truly “Western” state. Sincerely, Jack Kerouac.” In near fine condition. Matted and framed. The entire piece measures 31 inches by 18 inches. A rare and intimate glimpse into the thought an literary progression of one of the formative writers of the 20th century.
"One of the best-written and convincing pieces in the Anti-Federalist canon": Rare First Edition of Observations Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government from the Federal Farmer to the Republican
Observations Leading to a Fair Examination of the System of Government, Proposed by the Late Convention; and to Several Essential and Necessary Alterations in it. In a Number of Letters from the Federal Farmer to the Republican.
New York: 1787.
Rare first edition of the definitive and most important work in the Anti-Federalist canon; the antithesis of the The Federalist Papers. Octavo, bound in the original calf over original boards with six raised bands, edges speckled red. In very good condition. An exceptional example.
"The book that introduced France to Newtonian physics": First Edition of Voltaire's Elements of the Philosophy of Newton; Inscribed by him to the surgeon who attended Newton in his final illness
Londres [Paris]: Prault 1738.
First French edition of one of the most elegantly illustrated science books ever printed and the book that introduced France to Newtonian physics; a scarce presentation copy inscribed by Voltaire. Octavo, bound in full contemporary calf with gilt tooling to the spine in six compartments within raised gilt bands, red morocco spine label lettered in gilt, gilt ruling to the panels, inner dentelles, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Illustrated with two frontispiece portraits of both Newton and Voltaire, six full page plates, one folding plate, and illustrations throughout the text. Presentation copy, inscribed by Voltaire on the front free endpaper to William Cheselden, one of the most influential surgeons of 18th century England who attended Newton in his final illness. Although it is unknown if Voltaire and Newton met, Voltaire attended Newton’s funeral in 1727 while living in exile in England. During this exile he became an adherent of Newtonian physics and philosophy which he saw as the embodiment of the Enlightenment victory over Christian dogma and as the destroyer of the errors of Cartesianism. Voltaire dedicated the work to his mistress, La Madame la Marquise du Chastellet, who was a fellow scholar of Newton and completed the first French translation of the Principia in 1759. From the library of Dr. Adrian Pollock. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Pollock was a leader in the field of non-destructive acoustic emission testing, an approach to emission testing which addresses dynamic processes in materials by listening to the energy released by objects. He amassed a large book collection covering the history of science which he acquired throughout his travels between the United States and United Kingdom and from international catalogs. Newton was a particular favorite of Pollock’s as the two scientists worked in the same field and shared an alma mater. In very good condition with light shelfwear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Exceedingly rare, surely one of the most significant examples of this work.
First Edition of Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, In The Rare Original First-Issue Dust Jacket
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1926.
First edition, first issue of the first printing, with the misprint (“stoppped”) on page 181 line 26, in the first issue dust jacket with the misprint on the front panel (“In Our Times” vs. “In Our Time”). Octavo, original black cloth. Fine in a near fine first issue dust jacket without any restoration. The Annette Campbell-White copy brought $120,000 at Sotheby’s in 2007. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example.
"Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit em, but remember its a sin to kill a mockingbird"; First edition of To Kill A Mockingbird; Signed by Harper Lee and Truman Capote
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company 1960.
First edition of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel which had an initial first printing of 5,000 copies. Octavo, original green cloth backed brown boards, titles to spine in gilt. Signed by both Harper Lee and Truman Capote on the front free endpaper. Truman Capote’s friendship with Harper Lee began in the summer of 1929 when the two became next door neighbors in Monroeville, Alabama; both were the age of five. They shared a love of reading and began collaborating when Lee was gifted a typewriter by her father as a child. Lee drew on their friendship as inspiration for the characters Lee and Scout in her masterpiece To Kill A Mockingbird; Capote based his tomboy character Idabel Thompkins in his first novel Other Voices, Other Rooms on Lee. They worked together on Capote’s true crime novel, In Cold Blood; Lee acted as his ‘assistant reasearchist’ and edited the final draft of the book. Upon its publication in 1965, Capote failed to acknowledge Lee’s contributions to the book, after which their relationship was never the same. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing and wear to the extremities. Jacket design by Shirley Smith. Photograph by Truman Capote. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box. Exceptionally rare, this is the first example we have seen signed by both Lee and Capote.
"It is not down on any map; true places never are": Rare First Edition Of Herman Melville's Moby Dick
New York: Harper & Brothers 1851.
First edition, first issue binding, with the circular Harper’s device of Melville’s masterpiece. Octavo, original purple-brown cloth (BAL’s A grain), covers stamped in blind with the publisher’s circular device at the center within a heavy blind rule frame, original orange-coated endpapers. A near fine condition with some of the usual light foxing and light shelfwear to the spine tips. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A completely unrestored example of this cornerstone. A superior example.
"If you liked The Great Gatsby, for God's sake read this. Gatsby was a tour de force but this is a confession of faith": First Edition of Tender Is the Night; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald To Hollywood Producer Harry Joe Brown
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1934.
First edition of the work which Fitzgerald considered to be his finest. Octavo, original green cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper with a full page inscription, “For Harry Joe Brown – late of the 17th Infantry Brigade. Wounded in Hollywood 1920-1940. – from his fellow dough boy F Scott Fitzgerald Encino, 1939.” The recipient, Harry Joe Brown was a Hollywood producer, who Fitzgerald noted meeting in late 1939: “Somewhere around this time [September 1939] Harry Joe Brown called me over to Twentieth Century Fox on a Sonja Heine picture” (Letter to the Berg-Allenberg Agency, 23 February 1940). Fitzgerald had been contracted as a writer by Metro Goldwyn Meyer Studios in the July of 1937, initially for six months. His contract was then extended for another year, but when this lapsed in December 1938 MGM did not renew it. Over the next two years, Fitzgerald freelanced for numerous studios on a number of films, including Everything Happens at Night for which Brown was an associate producer. An excellent near fine example in a very good first issue dust jacket with some light wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
"One need not be a prophet to be aware of impending dangers. An accidental combination of experience and interest will often reveal events to one man under aspects which few yet see": Rare First English Edition of The Road To Serfdom; Signed by F.A. Hayek
London: Routledge & Sons 1944.
First edition of one of the most influential and popular expositions of classical liberalism ever published. Octavo, original black cloth. Signed by F.A. Hayek on the title page. Light rubbing, near fine in a very good dust jacket with some expert restoration. The British edition (which this example is) was published in March of 1944, preceding its American counterpart, which was published later that same year in September. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare signed.
Rare collection of the works of Thomas Paine; finely bound with a rare early printing of John Quincy Adams' response to Paine's Rights of Man
Common Sense: Addressed to the Inhabitants of America, Plain Truth, Rights of Man Parts I & II, and An Answer to Pain’s Rights of Man.
J. Almon, J.S. Jordan, and J. Stockdale: London 1776-1793.
Finely bound collection of the works of Thomas Paine, including the rare first British editions of Common Sense and Plain Truth (London: J. Almon, 1776), second editions of Rights of Man Parts I & II (London: J.S. Jordan, 1791-1792), complete with half-titles present, and a rare early printing of John Quincy Adams’ response to Paine’s Rights of Man (London: J. Stockdale, 1793), attributed to his father John Adams and written when John Quincy Adams was 26 years old. Octavo, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards with gilt titles and tooling to the spine, red morocco spine label, all edges speckled black. In near fine condition. A rare and desirable collection.
"If you liked The Great Gatsby, for God's sake read this. Gatsby was a tour de force but this is a confession of faith": First Edition of Tender Is the Night; Inscribed by F. Scott Fitzgerald
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1934.
First edition of the work which Fitzgerald considered to be his finest. Octavo, original green cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For the unknown, unmet parents of Clare (note: double underlined). Knowing her, I hope you will find something to like in this present. Best wishes, F. Scott Fitzgerald.” A very good example with some wear to the crown and foot of the spine, extremities of the cloth in a very good unrestored first issue dust jacket that has some rubbing and wear. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell and chemise case.
“What does the brain matter compared with the heart?”: First Edition of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway; In the Rare Original Dust Jacket
London: Hogarth Press 1925.
First edition of one of Woolf’s best-known novels, one of only 2000 copies. Octavo, original orange cloth. Fine in a near fine dust jacket with some light wear to the extremities. From the library of Virginia bibliophile and historian Christopher Clark Geest with his bookplate to the pastedown. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example, scarce and desirable in the original dust jacket and in this condition.
New York: Harper & Brothers 1934.
First American edition and true first preceding the British edition by one year of Orwell’s first novel. Octavo, original cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the verso of the front free endpaper to Mabel Fierz, “With very best wishes from Eric Blair.” It was Mabel Fierz who introduced Orwell to Leonard Moore (who would later become his literary agent) after salvaging the manuscript for Down and Out from the writer’s discarded papers. After first meeting Orwell in Southwold, Suffolk, Mabel and her husband Francis became close friends with the writer and often invited him to stay at their house in Golders Green. On one such occasion, Orwell gave Mabel the manuscript, which had just been rejected by Faber, and telling her to save only the paperclips, said she should throw it away. Instead she took it in person to Moore who in turn took it to Gollancz. In gratitude, thereafter Orwell presented Mabel with signed copies of all his published works. Mabel Fierz, authorial inscription, typed letter signed by Mabel’s son Adrian Fierz loosely inserted. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
FIRST EDITION OF RICARDOS FUNDAMENTAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE SCIENCE OF ECONOMICS: ON THE PRINCIPLES OF POLITICAL ECONOMY AND TAXATION
London: John Murray 1817.
First edition of David Ricardo’s most important work, a cornerstone of economic theory— one of only 750 copies printed. Octavo, bound in contemporary half calf. Bookplate of John Hales Calcraft, member of Parliament in the late 18th century. Calf lightly rubbed, a near fine example. Rare in contemporary calf.
“AMERICA’S SECOND DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE”: RARE FIRST EDITION OF WALT WHITMAN’S LEAVES OF GRASS, THE MOST IMPORTANT AND INFLUENTIAL VOLUME OF AMERICAN POETRY
Brooklyn, New York: For the author by Andrew & James Rome 1855.
First edition of the most important volume in American poetry, which Whitman personally financed, supervised and even in some sections hand-set the type for the small printing of 795 copies. Small folio, frontispiece engraved portrait of the author by Hollyer after the daguerreotype by Gabriel Harrison, mounted opposite the title, bound in three quarters morocco over marbled boards by MacDonald, New York, gilt titles and tooling to the spine, marbled endpapers. In near fine condition. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell chemise.
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for": First edition of To Kill A Mockingbird; Inscribed by Harper Lee
Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company 1960.
First edition of Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel which had an initial first printing of 5,000 copies. Octavo, original green cloth backed brown boards, titles to spine in gilt. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper in a contemporary hand, “To Jennie with my best wishes Nelle Lee.” The recipient must have been a person close to the author, as Lee reserved inscriptions using the name Nelle family members and close friends. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing and wear to the extremities. Jacket design by Shirley Smith. Photograph of Lee on the back panel by Truman Capote. Housed in a custom full morocco clamshell box.