11 October 2002
FAULKNER, William. Sanctuary. New York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1931.
8o. Original cloth-backed boards, figured grey and magenta endpapers [first state]; printed dust jacket (few insignificant nicks). Provenance: Hubert Starr (presentation inscription); Marguertite Cohn, House of Books (purchased Starr's collection of inscribed Faulkner from Starr's widow in the mid-1970s); Louis Daniel Brodsky (then deaccessioned from the Brodsky-Faulkner Collection at Southeast Missouri State University).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST BINDING. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY FAULKNER TO HUBERT STARR on the front free endpaper: "To Herb from Bill Faulkner." ADDITIONALLY SIGNED BY FAULKNER on the title: "William Faulkner Sta. Monica, Cal. 23 July 1934."
Faulkner first met Hubert "Herb" Starr while visiting his closest friend and mentor, Phil Stone, who, along with Starr, was taking a law degree. "Faulkner and Starr were so close in their early years that on January 7, 1919, Faulkner would send Starr a holograph letter of astonishing content, signed 'Cousin Bill'" (Peterson A13.1a, note). Faulkner reconnected with Starr in 1934 when he travelled to Hollywood for the first time to work for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and then for Howard Hawks. Faulkner bunked with Starr on his early trips West, and Starr served as Faulkner's Hollywood legal advisor. Faulkner inscribed other volumes to Starr over the years, including Light in August (see next lot).
"Sanctuary was written in haste when Faulkner was tired of never selling; like the stories in These Thirteen, it is Faulkner for the non-Faulknerites, determined to shock... It has been suggested that the enormous appeal of the underworld is that it contains the true vitality of America in its code. It is the world of the subconscious Id with the police and law as super ego... The novel was a popular success though attacked by Wyndham Lewis in his Men Without Art and I offer it here for not liking Faulkner better" (Connolly, The Modern Movement 69). Massey 249; Peterson A8.2.
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