by Louÿs, Pierre; with a conclusion and notes by Claude Farrère
New York: Covici, Friede. Very Good+ in Fair dj. 1931 (c.1928). Later Printing. Hardcover. [book lightly shelfworn, miniscule bumping to top front corner; jacket is a bit of a mess, with the striking front panel illustration intact but otherwise some wear and paper loss to the spine (which has also been clumsily tape-repaired along the front hinge), light soiling, a bit of paper loss at corners of rear panel]. Somewhat louche French novel (translation uncredited), "a poem in prose to the eternal beauty and ecstasy of the flesh, a romantic celebration of that physical love which approaches and merges with the sublime." The book was left unfinished at the time of the author's death in 1925, but "his friend Claude Farrère, working from his own intimate knowledge of the story, gleaned from many conversations with Louÿs, finally completed it and brought about its publication." It was initially published in the U.S. by Covici, Friede in 1928, in a limited edition with illustrations by the somewhat enigmatic Mme. Majeska (real name, Henriette Stern), a theatre and film costume designer who employed her best Aubrey Beardsley-esque style to illustrate a number of similarly exotic books in the 1920s and 1930s; despite the jacket-blurb claim that the book "is here presented in an attractive format, and without deletion from the original edition," this particular 1931 printing did in fact eliminate the in-text illustrations (perhaps they meant something else by "the original edition"), although the publisher did retain one of her drawings (uncredited) to adorn the front jacket panel. (Too bad about the clumsily-done tape repair to the front jacket hinge; not my doing!) . (Inventory #: 23145)
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