Monday, March 30, 2009

Poets Reading No. 5

My posting of these items is pretty much random. I did specifically chose to pop this in next because when I was shooting it the other day, I noticed this record cover uses the same picture of Ted that was used in my ARC picture insert (see: "The Hawk in the Rain" below). I was surprised the back cover looks kind of scrappy in the photo, since it is in near pristine condition; still stiff and the record's wax paper insert is still crisp and clean. This record has never been played.
Another discovery (besides the 'Hawk' picture connection) is that it contains one of my favorite Hughes poems, "Pibroch."

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Tale of Two Hawks...

Part of the reason I am putting together this display is because I knew I needed to memorialize these things for insurance purposes, if gawd forbid something terrible happened. I did have a minor disaster recently that has required my insurance co. to step in and it is part of the kick in the butt for me to make this happen.
I state the above to explain the minutia that probably seems like over-kill (to even me) when it comes to documenting these things, but it seems best to be precise. And that precision has lead me to a discovery about my two copies of "Hawk in the Rain."
I thought I had two first editions. I knew I had a signed copy. I thought it was a first edition, but discovered today that it is not. When I laid the two books next to each other to photograph both their 'edition' pages, the first thing I noticed was that the front flaps were not consistent; the ARC w/pic copy had much more yellow showing on the front flap. A closer look showed me the ARC copy with the much better cover was a First and the signed is not. I'm no expert, but have a few things with Hughes' signature and I'm sure this is an old signature, most likely around the time this book was released, but it is not a First edition. My reasoning on the sig. is that it is really tight, whereas it seems his later sigs are more elongated. And you can tell when ink is old.
Another 'discovery' of my "Hawks" was re-finding the ARC (advance reading copy) card with the amazing picture of Ted. I had forgotten about it. The picture has Kodak on the back so it is a realio-trulio picture and not some mimeographed thing. And the 'dreamy' factor speaks for itself. He would have made a great James Bond.
So here are a whole bunch of pics showing the two "Hawks." The signed version's cover has some browning to the edges that I show in one picture.

ARC / First Edition

(as above, back cover)

Signed copy cover example


ARC / 1st ed. (no sig)

You can see the 'flap' difference

Front flap First ed.
Back flap First ed.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Heinemann, "Bell Jar" First Edition. Sigh...

My favorite thing. Fortunately, I bought it several years ago when I was spending money like a crazy woman. If I 'needed' it for my collection now, it would never happen, since my credit card debt spree is long over and laying out cash for this would not be feasible.

It is not in perfect shape, but it is pretty fine. The book itself is very solid and the few scruffs and dings on the cover speak for themselves. I don't know if a number has ever been given for how many of these were printed up by Heinemann. My Tabor (An analytical bibliography) says they preferred not to disclose it. Tabor quotes the publisher: "we only did a token quanity." So, it's probably pretty damned rare. And I am still so delighted to have it on my bookshelf after all these years.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Harper & Row "The Bell Jar"

This is the Harper & Row, First edition of the U.S. printing of "The Bell Jar." My first copy was a bruised up hardback I picked up in a used bookstore. This one is one of my first purchases from ebay (circa 1998) and the cover is in such good shape I initially thought it might be 'copy.' But that thought passed and I'm pretty sure it is all legit and an excellently preserved book and cover. I'd not wanted to have to comment on my digital pic taking abilities, but short of removing the mylar cover, I could not prevent a flash-back. What looks like it could be damage is merely the photographer's lack of skill

Easton "Bell Jar" (25th Anniversary)

This is a blue, leather-bound Easton Press, 25th Anniversary edition of "The Bell Jar." It has bright gold guilding on the page edges and a gold ribbon place keeper. Fancy.

La Campana di Vetro

"The Bell Jar" First edition, Italian version. I bought this years ago via an online bookseller and have never come across another one. I don't know if that is indicative of rarity or not. It is in excellent shape and most interestingly (to me), was published years before the U.S. edition.

A Bright and Shiny New Blog with that New Blog Smell

Well, I decided yesterday to memorialize my little collection of Plath and Hughes items. It is mostly books, but there are few miscellaneous items, too.

Turning 5.0. last November has me looking at the big picture (getting smaller and smaller!) of a life (specifically, mine) and putting together something like this has been a notion for some time and I'm not getting any younger. Plus, I've become much more proficient with my digital camera this past month. What used to take me jumping through 19 hoops and tripping over six of them when it comes to getting pics off the camera and delivered where they need to go has become a smooth operation. So the frustration level is much reduced. Whew.

With Beethoven's Fifth soaring in the background (you'll have to take my word for it) I will start pulling this thing together...