London, South Kensington
25 October 2007
[SASSOON, Siegfried (1886-1967).] An Ode for Music. [London]: Chiswick Press: Charles Whittingham and Co. for the author, 1912. 4° (221 x 173mm). Woodcut printer's device on final leaf. (A little spotted.) Original printed wrappers (outer areas a little rubbed and creased). Provenance: Dr Lionel Dakers CBE (1924-2003).
FIRST EDITION, ONE OF 50 OR 60 SIGNED COPIES. 'I had written a grandiose Ode to Music. It was a hundred lines in length and I had composed it in a condition of ecstatic afflatus. I had in fact felt like an enthusiastic cathedral organist with all his swellest stops pulled out. Not wholly uninfluenced by The Hound of Heaven, I had climbed, taken wing, triumphed, and rejoiced in "storms of jubilation" and "psalmodies of splendour". I had overheard "symphonies of flame" and "raptures of resistless lyring", and toward the end I claimed to have "shared celestial commotion!" Intoxicated by my own mystical impressiveness, I dispatched the Ode forthwith to the Chiswick Press, who printed fifty copies in an austerely elegant format which caused me to feel prouder than ever of my supposed masterpiece' (S. Sassoon The Weald of Youth, London: 1942, pp. 121-122). Although Keynes gives the same figure of 50 copies, this example is annotated on the colophon '60 copies' in Sassoon's hand, as is one held by the Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin (cf. Siegried Sassoon: A Memorial Exhibition, Austin, TX: 1969, no. 10). Keynes A9.
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