The Orchid Stories. Kenward Elmslie.
The Orchid Stories
The Orchid Stories
The Orchid Stories

The Orchid Stories

Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, INC. / Paris Review Editions, 1973. First Edition / Association Copy. Hardcover. Signed (Twice) & Inscribed by Kenward Elmslie to Ken & Ann Mikolowski, close friends of Elmslie's & founders of Detroit's "Alternative Press," publishers of many Beat/New York School/Black Mountain-related authors. "Very few books in literature are as singular as "The Orchid Stories." Among them are Raymond Roussel’s novels, Laura (Riding) Jackson’s Progress of Stories, Giorgio de Chirico’s Hebdomeros, and John Ashbery’s Flow Chart. Elmslie belongs to that great countertradition to classic poetry and prose. He lets imagination spiral into contradictory zones, but he is casual about this, feeling that “we belong here, stirring, where it’s beautiful to be.” (Michael Silverblatt Book Review, October 26, 2016, The Paris Review). Written in an explosively creative period for Elmslie, "The Orchid Stories" are further examples of Elmslie's explorative prowess and ear for language. "Although each of The Orchid Stories stand alone, their character and moods recur frequently, in a swirl of visual echoes with the bewildering clarity of a dream," (ibid) which analgously can be said for many of the exceptional "Routines" from William S. Burroughs. Signed & inscribed in thin black pen ink to Ken & Ann Mikolowski. Inscription on half-title page reads: "for / (bubble/block lettering) K + A / (returns to common handwriting) ROUNDING THE LEAF! / Love, / Kenward / on Joe's B-Day / March 11, 1995." This beautiful, elegiac inscription refers to Joe Brainard, Elmslie's longtime partner & collaborator, who had died in 1994. Brainard would have turned 53 years old that year. Signature on title page reads "Kenward Elmslie" just under the author's printed name. Book in fine condition with only slight outward bend to recto board; minor rubbing to recto, verso boards esp. at fine edges; dust jacket in very good-near fine condition with moderate rubbing to front, back covers; horizontal indentation running through length of cover, likely from its placement on the Mikolowskis' bookshelves; minor bumps, light chipping to all corners esp. top left corner of front cover; minor shelf-wear to all fine edges. Fine / Very Good-Near Fine. [Item #2834]

Price: $75.00

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