2 December 2014
This lot is offered without a reserve
BOYLE, T. Coraghessan (b. 1948). Descent of Man. Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1979. 8°. Original black cloth (spine cracked, some leaves starting); dust jacket.
FIRST EDITION of Boyle’s first book, signed on the title-page (“T. C. Boyle, 2/21/14”), with a drawing of a whale on the front flyleaf, captioned “My totem animal.” On the rear flyleaf he has drawn “My totem animal’s offspring.” Underneath the title he has written, “Almost? A legend?” Animal sketches and renderings of some of the characters, such as Konrad, pepper the text. Konrad is one of the great characters in all of literature, a chimpanzee engaged in translating Darwin’s Descent of Man into Yerkish, with Chomsky and Nietzsche on his to-do list. Critics delighted in Boyle’s fecund imagination, his eagerness to leap over boundaries. He is, the Times reviewer aptly noted, “a writer who is willing to try anything.” This premier introduced many of the themes of Boyle’s later work: the strange and often volatile exchanges that occur between humans and the other aspects of the natural world; the sense of loss and disillusionment that accompany so many human achievements, whether by astronauts, Norsemen or Idi Amin.
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This lot is offered without reserve.
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