11 October 2002
BERRYMAN, John. 77 Dream Songs. New York: Farrar, Straus and Company, 1964.
8o. Original blue cloth, gilt-lettered on spine; pictorial dust jacket (one small tear). Provenance: Harriet Rosenzweig, Berryman's student and former lover (presentation inscription; 3-page autograph note laid-in).
FIRST EDITION OF BERRYMAN'S PULITZER PRIZE WINNING COLLECTION. AN INTIMATE ASSOCIATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY BERRYMAN TO HIS FRIEND AND FORMER LOVER, HARRIET ROSENZWEIG on the front free endpaper: "For Harriet Of most happy memory & presence, with love, and with eager wish that she flourish upon her return to the civilized,--if Newark really falls in that category--Bon voyage, Mme. Bones! John Abbott 18 Apr '64 I think you don't know 65--try him--but 66 is better."
While she was a student at the University of Minnesota, Rosenzweig took a number of Berryman's courses, including his famed Humanities 54. Both were undergoing divorces at the time and became intimately involved in 1959 and 1960. The affair stopped when Berryman married his wife Kate in 1961 but he and Rosenzweig (who also remarried) continued to correspond. Rosenzweig is referred to in Recovery, Berryman's only novel, as "Harriet R." Rosenzweig's laid-in notes provide her explainations for Berryman's troubled life: "In retrospect I think John's basic conflict was that although his intellect understood the absurdity of it all he was unable to insulate himself from the collective despair."
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