4 December 2009
Property from the Estate of H. Richard Dietrich, Jr.
NORRIS, Frank (1870-1902). McTeague: A Story of San Francisco. New York: Doubleday & McClure Co., 1899.
8o. Original red cloth, decorated and lettered in white (hinges cracked, a little wear). Provenance: Prentiss N. Gray (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING, with page 106 ending with the word "moment." Norris's major work McTeague is a prime example of the American naturalistic novel, which depicts the gradual degeneration into alcoholism and murder of a stupid, but initially harmless, giant of a man whose instincts are nearer brute than human. BAL 15031.
[Tipped-in:] NORRIS, Frank. Two leaves from the original autograph manuscript of Norris' novel McTeaque: a Story of San Francisco (1899). Two pages, folio, rectos only, each sheet with approximately 450 words written in ink with revisions on lined paper with large ruled margin at left, marked in one place in purple ink for galleys, each sheet with small spike hole affecting a few letters, each folded twice. This manuscript page corresponds to pages 55-57 and 67-68 in the published book. The first leaf contains the episode when his best friend Marcus Schouler gives up his love interest Trina to McTeague: "...What a fine thing was this friendship between men! The dentist treats his friend for an ulcerated tooth and refuses payment; the friend reciprocates by giving up his girl. This was nobility..." Most individual folio leaves from the McTeague manuscript were cut in half (into two pages) and tipped into the 245 sets of the Argonaut Manuscript Limited Edition of the author's Complete Works (1928): complete folio leaves such as these one are seldom encountered. AUTOGRAPH MATERIAL BY NORRIS IS RARE.
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