TALES TOLD OF SHEM AND SHAUN. THREE FRAGMENTS FROM WORK IN PROGRESS.

(Paris: Black Sun Press, 1929). 210 x 168 mm. (8 1/4 x 6 5/8"). 4 p.l. (first blank), xv, [i], 55, [3] pp., [1] leaf (blank). FIRST EDITION. No. 249 OF 500 COPIES on Van Gelder Zonen paper (plus 50 copies hors commerce and 100 copies on Japanese vellum.).

Original white paper wrappers, title printed in black and red on front cover and spine, printer's device on back cover, in the original glassine dust jacket. In a (slightly worn and expertly repaired) cardboard slipcase of orange cloth covered with gilt paper and with orange ribbon pull (apparently a variant of the publisher's slipcase described in Slocum & Cahoon). With frontispiece portrait of the author by Constantin Brancusi, original tissue guard. Printed in red and black. Slocum & Cahoon A-36; Ransom, p. 111; The Artist and the Book 32. A minuscule chip to glassine at head and tail of spine, otherwise IN PRISTINE CONDITION.

This is an immaculate copy of the second separately published excerpt from "Finnegans Wake" (preceded by "Anna Livia Plurabelle"), a work clearly reminiscent of avant-garde Paris in the 1920s. The text is by one of the great Modernist writers, the illustration is by a leading abstract artist, and the printing is by a private press founded by two American expatriates, Harry and Caresse Crosby, who were part of the literary circle that included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein. This is the only book illustration by Brancusi (1876-1957)--a sculptor who did very little graphic work--listed in "The Artist and the Book," which notes that the portrait is "as abstract as the text." This was one of the last books printed at the Black Sun Press during Harry Crosby's lifetime; he committed suicide in December 1929 (Caresse Crosby continued the enterprise after his death).
(ST15753d)

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PJP Catalog: CAHLeftovers.010

TALES TOLD OF SHEM AND SHAUN. THREE FRAGMENTS FROM WORK IN PROGRESS. JAMES JOYCE.

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