4 December 2009
Property from the Estate of H. Richard Dietrich, Jr.
ANDERSON, Sherwood (1876-1941). Typescript of Dark Laughter, WITH EXTENSIVE CORRECTIONS AND EMENDATIONS IN ANDERSON'S HAND, n.p., n.d. 238 pages (carbons), 4to (p.190 with extensive paper loss and tears affecting most of the text on that page; lacking pages 187, 191; p.64 misnumbered as p.66; p.196 misnumbered as p.197; p.221 misnumbered as p.222). In a cloth slipcase.
A CORRECTED TYPESCRIPT OF ANDERSON'S 1925 BEST-SELLER. Dark Laughter is in part a reimagining of Mark Twain's Huck Finn. The protagonist John Stockton, a Chicago reporter, wonders what Twain would see and write about in 1920s America. So he sets off on a raft down the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers to find out. Stockton sees a country with the life choked out of it by a sterile corporate, technological culture, a place "of song killed, of laughter killed, of men herded into a new age of speed, of factories, of swift, fast-running trains." He finds relief among ordinary people who have opted out (or never joined) that competitive world, and contented themselves with simple jobs and the pleasures of friendship and family. Stockton takes up such a job, changes his name to Bruce Dudley, and has the satisfaction of running off with the factory boss's wife. Dark Laughter was published by Boni & Liveright in 1925.
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