Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1971. Bukowski, Charles. Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 50 signed/numbered hardcover copies with original artwork, large octavo size, 119 pp., with prospectus. Fine / near fine. Item #CNJZ0007
Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) was "a prolific underground writer who used his poetry and prose to depict the depravity of urban life and the downtrodden in American society. A cult hero, Bukowski relied on experience, emotion, and imagination in his work, using direct language and violent and sexual imagery" (n.b., from the web site of the Poetry Foundation). As much as he achieved popular acclaim during his lifetime, his reputation and following have only increased after his death.
In addition to being an author, Bukowski also was an artist: he painted on 6" by 9" paper "with thick layers of acrylics, oil paint, watercolors, pastels, crayons, pens - whatever was at hand. They were sent to Black Sparrow [whose editor, John Martin, was a friend of Bukowski's] where they were bound into special hardcover first editions of his books" (n.b., from the web site of Bukowski [dot] net).
This volume, "Post Office" is Bukowski's first novel, the autobiographical account of his own years working at a post office, wherein he introduces Henry Chinaski, his "anti-hero". A comment on the prospectus which accompanies the book, written by reviewer Guy Williams, says it best: " 'Post Office' is a work of overwhelming power. The combination of pity and terror is the classic definition of Tragedy. No other poet has ever moved me in quite the same way."
This volume is numbered copy 33 of the 50 numbered hardcover copies with original artwork, this in shades mostly of pinks and greens, with what could be a man struggling towards the sun...
___DESCRIPTION: Quarter bound in cloth decorated to resemble parts of the American flag, grey paper spine label with blue lettering, paper over boards, the front with decoration and red lettering, red endpapers, the Bukowski drawing serving as frontis, Bukowski's signature at the colophon; large octavo size (9.5" by 6.25"), pagination: [1-8] 9-115 [1, blank] [1, colophon, signed by Bukowski] [1, blank] [1, black and white photograph of Bukowski with bio]. In a dust wrapper of clear acetate from the publisher, loosely laid in is the prospectus, a single sheet of blue paper folded once, red and blue lettering, review blurbs and purchase details on the inside, measuring 6 7/8" by 5 3/8" when open.
___CONDITION: Fine overall, the boards clean other than a few light, stray marks, straight corners without rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; a hint of sunning to the top edge of the boards; overall a fine, bright copy. The publisher's acetate dust wrapper near fine with light overall marks, the prospectus fine, clean and without wear, with only the original fold.
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