THE CROSS OF CARL: An Allegory; The story of one who went down into the depths and was buried; who, doubting much, yet at the last lifted up his eyes unto the hills and rose again and was transfigured
by Owen, Walter
London: Grant Richards, 1931. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good/very good. With a Preface by General Sir Ian Hamilton. London: Grant Richards, 1931. First edition. The author's first book, a novella written in one sitting while Owen (1884-1953) convalesced with a painful abdominal condition in 1917. It was accepted for publication in Britain the following year, but deemed by the censor too brutal, surrealistic, and bleakly anti-war for publication at the time. The titular Carl is a foot soldier in the trenches of World War I. Mistaken for dead, he is bundled off to an Auschwitz-like facility that renders corpses into pig slop. Escaping from this Golgotha, he buries himself in a shallow grave until the German Kaiser and an Allied Marshall, who are traveling amiably together, rouse and kill him. Inspired in part by anti-German newspaper propaganda and Owen's fascination with the effects of opium, the book it regarded as a central text of Fantastika between the wars. Small octavo. Original black cloth binding, with white titles. A bit of rubbing and loss to the white titles on the spine. In the scarce dust jacket, which is a touch sun faded along the spine; else very good or better. (Inventory #: 64480)
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