22 June 2010
FAULKNER, William. Pylon. New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1935.
8o. (Small rust stain from paper clip on first three leaves.) Original two-toned cloth (spine a bit faded, endpapers slightly discolored); pictorial dust jacket (light wear along joints); quarter morocco slipcase. Provenance: Myrtle Ramey (presentation inscription); Roger Rechler (his sale Christie's New York, 11 October 2002, lot 80).
FIRST EDITION, TRADE ISSUE. A FINE ASSOCIATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY FAULKNER TO HIS CHILDHOOD FRIEND MYRTLE RAMEY on the front free endpaper: "For Myrtle Ramey William Faulkner Oxford May 26, 1935." The trade issue was issued simultaneously with a limited signed edition of 310 copies on March 25.
Faulkner met Myrtle Ramey in 1906 when he skipped a year in school and joined the third grade. The two became lifelong friends, spending hours discussing favorite authors and titles. When he began to publish, Faulkner counted her among the few friends and family to whom he inscribed books. In 1924 she received a copy of The Marble Faun, along with an autograph sheaf of poems (a gesture which biographer Frederick Karl suggests involved some level of flirtation, see William Faulkner, 1989, p.174). Ramey married in 1926, but Faulkner insisted on using her maiden name when he inscribed Soldiers' Pay to her that year.
Inscribed copies of Pylon are SCARCE, with only four copies appearing at auction in the last thirty years according to American Book Prices Current (2002, the present copy; 2001, inscribed to Henry P. Enwin; 1988, inscribed to Laurence Edmunds and 1977, inscribed to Malcolm Cowley [Goodwin copy]). Massey 174; Peterson A17.1c.
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