San Francisco: The Arion Press, 2000. Puryear, Martin. Limited Edition. Hardcover. No. 94 of 400 copies, oblong folio size,  pp., signed by Martin Puryear, with prospectus and original publisher's white paper wrapping. Fine. Item #CNRD07
First published in 1923, "Cane" is widely regarded as the highest literary achievement of the Harlem Renaissance and a masterpiece of African-American writing; composed of many parts, the book is by turns fiction, poetry, and drama. Jean Toomer (1897-1967) was a prolific writer during the Modernism of the early twentieth century; however, while his work garnered praise from critics and fellow writers, it realised little commercial success, and toward the end of his life, Toomer became increasingly isolated, ceasing to write literary works in 1950 (n. b., info from the Poetry Foundation website).
This Arion Press edition features woodcuts by American sculptor Martin Puryear (b. 1941), an artist working primarily with wood and bronze and associated with Minimalism; Puryear creates abstract portraits of the characters in "Cane", hurtling straight through the momentum of the story, charged with beauty and emotion. Per the publisher, "the seven larger images are abstract portraits of women characters in the book; the three smaller blocks are reinterpretations of the enigmatic arcs that Toomer placed on pages dividing sections in the first edition".
___DESCRIPTION: Full tan linen with brown linen ties wrapping around the spine and boards, black lettering on both boards and spine, ten woodblock prints on Kitakata handmade Japanese paper by Martin Puryear throughout; Times New Roman and Lucian Bold types, Biblio mouldmade paper, oblong folio size (11.5" by 13.75"), 144 unnumbered pages, one of 400 copies, this number 94, signed by the artist Martin Puryear. With the prospectus, oblong (10" wide by 7" tall), four sheets stapled to eight leaves (sixteen pages), on glossy white paper, eight of the pages with photos of the authors and/or sample pages; still with the original publisher's white paper wrapping.
___CONDITION: Volume is very fine, with clean covers, straight corners with no rubbing, a strong, square text block with solid hinges, the interior is clean and bright, and entirely free of prior owner markings; clean and as new, the volume came to us in the unopened publisher's wrapping, which we opened in order to catalogue. The prospectus is also fine, clean and utterly without wear.
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