29 June 2005
ELIOT, Thomas Stearns (1888-1965). Prufrock and Other Observations. London: The Egoist Ltd., 1917.
8o. Original printed wrappers (some slight browning to covers, front hinge starting); quarter morocco folding case.
FIRST EDITION OF ELIOT'S FIRST BOOK, ONE OF THE MASTERPIECES OF MODERNIST VERSE.
Prufrock reached publication principally through the efforts of Ezra Pound. After the manuscript had been rejected by several London publishers, Pound approached Harriet Shaw Weaver and offered to raise the money for printing himself. Eliot later recollected that "Pound had chosen and arranged the poems for Prufrock and Other Observations; in fact affirmed--explicitly--that he owed 'everything' to Pound" (Hugh Kenner, The Pound Era, p.551). The work, published in an edition of 500 copies, was actually met with some indifference, though Eliot's peers immediately saw the importance of the work. Here was "something quite new in English verse and far beyond the capacity of Laforgue who is given credit for influencing him," notes Cyril Connolly. Connolly, The Modern Movement 30. Gallup A1; Hayward 331.
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