Ham On Rye
Santa Barbara: Black Sparrow Press, 1982. Bukowski, Charles. First and Limited Edition. Hardcover. One of 100 (126 total) signed/numbered hardcover copies with original artwork, octavo size, 287 pp., signed at colophon. Fine / near fine. Item #CNJZ0017
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, "Ham on Rye" is Bukowski's semi-autobiograhical coming-of-age novel; it explores many themes which would crop up often in his writings, including disenfranchisement and the myth of the American Dream: "I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them."
This volume No. 59 of the 126 signed/numbered hardcover copies with original artwork, a colourful abstract work filled with primary colours over which can be discerned the grey outlines of facial features, perhaps evoking the indivitual overwhelmed by the system, another favourite theme.
___DESCRIPTION: Blue cloth shelfback with paper spine label with blue and red lettering, yellow paper over boards with half-tone reproductions of photographs and red and blue lettering on the front, coloured rules on the rear board, turquoise blue endpapers, title page in red, blue and yellow, in addition to the 126 deluxe copies there were 1200 standard copies; octavo size (9.25" by 6.25"), pagination: [1-8] 9-283 [1, blank] [1, colophon, signed by Bukowski in black ink] [1, blank] [1, black and white photograph of Bukowski with bio]. In a dust wrapper of clear acetate from the publisher.
___CONDITION: Fine, with clean boards, 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; clean, crisp, as new. The publisher's acetate dust wrapper near fine with light overall marks.
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