Kyoto, Japan: Origin Press, 1966-1971. First Printings (All 20) / Association Copies (All 20) / Contributor's Copies (3). Stapled Wrappers. From the Library of Clayton Eshleman, Award-Winning Poet, Translator, and Prose Essayist. (5) Issues Signed by Contributor and Close Friend of Cid Corman, Clayton Eshleman. Cid Corman's "Origin Magazine" was one of the most influential outlets for the publication of mid-century American poetic development & scores of other vocationally-committed poets worldwide. Origin gained special reputation as an early herald of the work of Charles Olson, Gary Snyder, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Paul Blackburn, Robert Kelly & other celebrated innovators. It also provided a platform for promoting earlier pioneers like Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams & numerous champions of the European avant-garde like Antonin Artaud--a favorite of many Beat-&-Beyond authors--including the former proprietor of this collection; the esteemed poet, translator, & Guggenheim Fellow Clayton Eshleman, who carried a direct & intense correspondence with Cid Corman spanning many years. The third series of Origin Magazine spans the years 1966-1971, and boasts an incredible 20 issues--counting a host of literary immortals like Paul Celan, Objectivist poet Lorine Niedecker, and Corman himself. Another notable issue in the Third Series comes from a little-appreciated, fascinating eccentric of French Letters, Rene Daumal, whose "Mount Analogue" was re-published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights Books in 1968. Another title that demands special mention is the inclusion of literary & visual work by Josef Albers, whose storied involvement with Black Mountain College & tenure as Rector after the ousting of founder John Andrew Rice proved the most fruitful period in the history of the college pre-Olson. As enumerated by Martin Duberman's exceptional biography "Black Mountain College: An Exploration in Community," Albers was an exceptional orator to boot, and this fact grows more remarkable with the cognition that English was a second language he initially "struggled" with. Original paintings by Albers have recently sold for multiple millions at auction, and are proof of Albers' lasting & visionary influence. (Black Mountain: An Exploration in Community, Martin Duberman, E.P. Dutton, 1972). Each issue of Origin Magazine primarily featured work by a single author, but every issue was also augmented by a few contributions from other authors usually already familiar to publication in Origin.
Here are the issues in chronological order: (1) Cid Corman, April 1966. Featuring poems from Corman, "Letters ON MEASURE" between Corman & William Carlos Williams, Corman on "The Image" in poetry, and early biographical spotlights and song lyrics from cardinal figures of American Blues music. Sections on Blind Lemon Jefferson, Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie McTell, Robert Johnson, Lightning' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, & Sleepy John Estes (most notably an early influence on John Lennon) presented alongside other lesser-known figures. Eshleman has hand-signed his name in black pen ink at the top right-hand corner of the first page of the book; signature reads: "Clayton Eshleman / NYC 1966."
(2) Lorine Niedecker, July 1966. Niedecker, a poet most often associated with Louis Zukofsky & the "Objectivist" movement in poetry, is a criminally-underread 20th century master. Sections of letters, a smattering of poems by the featured poet, a suite of 9 Cesar Vallejo translations by Clayton Eshleman, and the usual Origin practice of limited inclusion from other writers at the tail end of the magazine by Mary Barnard, Cid Corman, and Andre du Bochet.
(3) Andre Du Bouchet, October 1966. Du Bouchet's family left Nazi occupied Europe in 1941, and he became a student first at Amherst College, then Harvard University. Du Bouchet was a friend & contemporary of such storied art immortals as surrealist masters Pierre Reverdy & Rene Char, as well as legendary sculptor Alberto Giacometti. (CerisePress.com). Also contained are pieces by Umberto Saba and Cid Corman. Clayton Eshleman’s ownership signature appears on first page of magazine at top right hand corner in bold black pen ink and reads: “Clayton Eshleman / NYC 1966.”
(4) Kusano Shimpei, January 1967. Shimpei is a Japanese poet, who, in early adulthood studied poetics in China. This study of Chinese poetry heavily informed the work he would come to be known for, and, not unlike Jacques Prevert in France, Shimpei's most notable poetry (in his case, about frogs, not the birds of Prevert) was almost wholly internalized by Japanese schoolchildren countrywide. (Project for Innovative Poetry). Contains many Shimpei poems and a long poem by Rene Char. Clayton Eshleman’s ownership signature appears on first page of magazine at top right hand corner in bold black pen ink and reads: “Clayton Eshleman 1967. NYC.”
(5) William Bronk, April 1967. A little-known poet who counted Charles Olson among his few enthusiastic supporters, William Bronk was largely the discovery of Cid Corman, and Corman proved the most influential promoter of Bronk's work throughout his lifetime. (famouspoetsandpoems.com). Also included are contributions by Corman & a sole contribution from Douglas Woolf.
(6) Douglas Woolf, July 1967. Harvard graduate, is best known as an "American author of gently comic fiction about people unassimilated into materialistic, technological society." (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Britannica, 2003). Issue concludes with seven poems by Cid Corman.
(7) Seymour Faust, October 1967. Published in 1958 by friend & contemporary Jerome Rothenberg's Hawk's Well Press, Faust was a poet whose work was championed early on by Rothenberg & later by Cid Corman. (Jerome Rothenberg, Seymour Faust: Two Poems Recovered & an Added Fragment (Redux), www.jacket2.org.) Issue closes with work by Cid Corman and Lorine Niedecker.
(8) Josef Albers, January 1968. As alluded to above, Issue 8 is the incredibly special Josef Albers issue, featuring not only the aforementioned art criticism from Albers but also work from John Dewey, "last of the French Symbolists" Paul Valery, Louis Zukofsky, Wallace Stevens, Anni Albers (the painter's wife, an undisputed master of weaving), Gerard Manley Hopkins, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Cid Corman himself. 6 full-color Albers plates contained within ("Overlapping," "Ascension," "Prefatio," "Homage to the Square: Salute," "Structural Constellation," & "White Line Squares.").
(9) Francis Ponge, April 1968. Francis Ponge was a fringe Surrealist who was part of the now-internationally canonized Breton circle, spending many formative years as their observative contemporary. Also featured are contributions by Lorine Niedecker, William Bronk, Seymour Faust & Cid Corman.
(10) Rene Daumal, July 1968. As referenced above, Rene Daumal, notorious experimentalist of French Letters, died an early death while working on his uncompleted masterwork, "Mount Analogue." Daumal--in a historical echo of what would later happen to Syd Barrett--had what was effectively a personal chemist & thus unusual access to intoxicants. This "experimentation" often induced him into "Season in Hell," Rimbaud-like states because not everything he took was "commonly used," as opiates, amphetamines, stimulants & cannabis are commonly used. Daumal had a taste for inhalants, which ultimately led to his untimely demise. Even so, his masterwork continues to inspire and his mythical legacy will float about the ether of literary history forever. The issue features poetry & prose from Daumal as well as work by Daphne Marlatt, Clayton Eshleman, and three short essays by William Bronk.
(11) Chuang-Tzu, October 1968. Issue 11 of Origin Magazine placed focus on the ancient "influential Chinese philosopher" Chaung-Tzu, who further developed principles outlined in Lao-Tzu's Tao Te Ching (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy).
(12) Denis Goacher, January 1969. Issue 12 contains work by Denis Goacher, an early visitor to notorious modernist master Ezra Pound "...in Washington in 1953, becoming Ezra Pound's secretary, visiting him at St Elizabeth's Hospital, typing his pronouncements, his poetry. His careful documentation of Pound's predicament at the time, and the campaign for his release, remains crucial. He became lifelong friends with Basil Bunting - sent to meet him by Pound." (Independent.co.uk: Obituaries: Dennis Goacher). Also included are contributions from Lorine Niedecker, Gael Turnbull, William Bronk, Daphne Marlatt, & Cid Corman.
(13) Jean Daive, April 1969. Origin 13 is a feature on French avant-garde poet Jean Daive. "Unlike some of his contemporaries, he does not avoid drama. The very silences between his short verbal disjunctive constructs carry emotion-like erratic nervous ticks. Behind the fracturing of his sentences, there is a narrative movement...like fast-moving films. Memory breaks into the present, making what is present veiled, but the action is always engaging, even dramatic, yet strangely disengaged as with the hysterical girl and the man who is 'north of human'." (www.burningdeck.com, Harriet Zinnes, Small Press). Also featured are contributions by Cid Corman and Rene Daumal.
(14) John Taggart, July 1969. "Influenced by poets Charles Olson and George Oppen, philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, and novelist Herman Melville, Taggart’s poetry is informed by composition techniques often associated with Objectivist theory. Taggart discussed his compositional process in an interview for Flashpoint magazine, stating, “I see it as addressing form, and working with form […] as a grid. The task is to set it up; then once you’re in it, to not so much get out of it, but as you’re going along to go beyond it, to go off grid.” As Robert Creeley noted, “John Taggart has long been a master of accumulating complexly layered patterns of sound and sense." (Poetry Foundation). Also included are contributions by Jonathan Greene, Seymour Faust, Denis Goacher, Michael Howden, Larry Eigner, George Johnston, William Bronk, and Cid Corman.
(15) Paul Celan, October 1969. "Celan was familiar with at least six languages, and fluent in Russian, French, and Romanian. In Paris, he taught German language and literature at L’École Normale Supérieure and earned a significant portion of his income as a translator, translating a wide range of work, from Robert Frost, Marianne Moore, and Emily Dickinson to Arthur Rimbaud, Antonin Artaud, and Charles Baudelaire...Though he lived in France and was influenced by the French surrealists, he wrote his own poetry in German." (Poetry Foundation). Also included are translations of Rimbaud by Denis Goacher, nine poems from Francis Ponge, and an essay by French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty closing the issue.
(16) Daphne Marlatt, January 1970. "Marlatt began writing seriously during the 1960’s amidst a wave of West Coast poets who were seriously committed to creating a new and distinct poetic sensibility...She typically deploys long lines of internal dialogue and narrative poetry arranged into what she calls "stanzagraphs." She favours etymological deconstruction and wordplay." (AthabascaUniversity.ca). Also includes contributions by Stephen Wiest, Seymour Faust, & Denis Goacher.
(17) Philippe Jaccottett, April 1970. "...Jaccottet is a writer of exacting attention. Through keen observations of the natural world, of art, literature, music, and reflections on the human condition, Jaccottet opens his readers’ eyes to the transcendent in everyday life." (The Second Seedtime: Notebooks 1980-1984, University of Chicago Press, 2017). Also included are works by Du Bouchet, Cid Corman, & William Bronk.
(18) Jonathan Greene, July 1970. Poet Jonathan Greene went to Bard College and studied under "Confessional" poet Robert Lowell. (Poetry Foundation). Greene's importance must not be relegated to merely a student of a famous teacher, but the inquisitive & curious will be quick to find much of worth in this exceptional gathering of his verses. Also included are works by Mario Luzi, Clayton Eshleman, John Taggart & Denis Goacher.
(19) Frank Samperi, October 1970. Frank Samperi, a poet born in Brooklyn, New York, early on was influenced by Thomas Aquinas and Dante Alighieri. Upon achieving a greater efficacy and skill in his practice, Samperi was mentored by poets Louis Zukofsky and Cid Corman. (Poetry Foundation). Also featured are 9 poems from Lorine Niedecker that complete the issue.
(20) Hitomaro, January 1971. "Japan's first great literary figure," Kakinomoto Hitomaro "...achieved in his poems a splendid balance between the homely qualities of primitive song and the more sophisticated interests and literary techniques of a new age." (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Kakinomoto Hitomaro, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2009).
A deeper layer of intrigue & association is added to the incredible provenance of this collection when considering that Eshleman not only contributed to the magazine & was profoundly close with its founder, but also knew and corresponded with many of the poets who were being published in the magazine alongside him.
(1) In fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers & minor rubbing to spine; slight shelf-wear throughout; light bumps at all corners; minor bump-crease to bottom right corner of front cover; similar bump-crease to top left, top right corners of back cover; four tiny spots near leftmost fine-edge of same; slight age-toning nearest spine-edge; minute rusting & bleeding to staples; Eshleman (beginning on pg. 25) began a re-numbering of the pages, with hand-cut & subsequently pasted small squares of paper with a new pagination beginning with "43" on what otherwise would have been pg. 25.
(2) In fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers; few instances of singular spotting to same; horizontal creases running through length of spine from Eshleman’s apparent use; slightest rusting to staples; slight shelf-wear throughout; minute bump to top left corner of back cover.
(3) In fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers; horizontal crease from Eshleman’s apparent use running through length of spine; moderate rusting to staples; slight shelf-wear & age-toning throughout; one spot at top fine-edge of back cover near top left corner; moderate instance of cluster-spotting just under Du Bouchet’s name at back cover table of contents.
(4) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers; age-toning to & horizontal creases at spine; minute browning at singular spot on back cover just above table of contents; only faintest instance of rusting at staples.
(5) In fine condition with slight rubbing to front, back covers esp. at fine-edges of verso wrapper; coffee stain to top left-hand corner of front cover; slight shelf-wear throughout; minor bump-crease to top right-hand corner of front cover; minute bumps to top left, bottom left corners of same; minute rusting, tiniest bleeding to staples.
(6) In fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers; slight chipping, tiny tears at exposed staples; age-toning to front, back covers at fine-edges; slightest rusting to staples; minor black spot, most likely from the ink of Eshleman’s pen, at front cover approximately 1 & ¼” above the “n” in “Origin.”
(7) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers; age-toning to spine; rusting at staples; moderate shelf-wear throughout.
(8) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers & spine; small bumps to all corners of same; tiniest chipping at top fine-edge of back cover at center-middle. The Albers’ plates featured within & mentioned above are particularly mint & gorgeous.
(9) In very fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers esp. at fine-edges; age-toning to spine; minor rusting to staples; slight shelf-wear throughout.
(10) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers esp. at fine-edges; age-toning to spine; minor rusting to staples; slight shelf-wear throughout; bump-crease & slight bend at top right-hand corner of front cover; bump-crease to top left-hand corner of same; another instance of first-mentioned bump-crease at top left-hand corner of back cover; minor chipping/tear to bottom right corner of same.
(11) In fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers; age-toning to spine; minor rusting to staples; slight shelf-wear throughout; minute nick to front cover just above bottom fine-edge at center-middle.
(12) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers & slight shelf-wear throughout; minute rusting to staples.
(13) In near fine condition with rubbing to front, back covers; coffee stain on front cover at center-middle just above bottom fine-edge; same coffee staining throughout spine; lesser staining from ostensibly same instance along rightmost fine-edge of front cover; cluster-spotting appearing throughout back cover; singular spot above Daumal’s name on back cover table of contents; significant rusting to exposed edges of staples and slight rusting to staples at interior.
(14) In very fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers; horizontal creases running through length of spine; minute shelf-wear throughout.
(15) In fine condition with only slight rubbing to front, back covers esp. at spine-edge; slight shelf-wear throughout; minor rusting to staples; minor spot just below listing of Francis Ponge at back cover table of contents; minute spot nearest rightmost fine-edge of back cover just above center-middle; minor, lightly visible gauge near leftmost fine-edge of back cover nearest bottom left-corner of same.
(16) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers; slight shelf-wear throughout; minute bumps to top right, bottom right corners of front cover; similar small bump to top left corner of back cover; minor rusting to staples.
(17) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers esp. at fine-edges; horizontal creases running through length of spine; minor rubbing at rightmost fine-edge directly to the right of the “Origin” title; similar spotting & rubbing surrounding the “April 1970” notation on front cover; moderate spot at top fine-edge of back cover at center-middle.
(18) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers esp. at fine-edges; horizontal creases running through length of spine; minute bumps to top right, bottom right corners of front cover; similar bumps to top left, bottom left corners of back cover; paperclip indentation above “g” in “Origin” title; minute rusting at exposed staples; tiniest evidence of rusting at staples at interior; slightest shelf-wear throughout.
(19) In very fine condition with only slightest rubbing to front, back covers esp. at fine-edges; horizontal creases running through length of spine; minute bumps to top right, bottom right corners of front cover; bump-crease to top left-hand corner of back cover; slightest shelf-wear throughout.
(20) In near-fine condition with minute rubbing to front, back covers esp. at & near fine-edges; horizontal creases running through length of spine; two spots above author title on recto wrapper; bump-indentations to front, back covers esp. nearest spine-edges. Near Fine-Very Fine. [Item #2838]