Y & X. Charles Olson.
Y & X

Y & X

Washington DC: The Black Sun Press / Caresse Crosby, 1950 (1948). Second Edition (In This Case Also Referred to as the "Trade" Edition"). Stapled Wrappers. When Charles Olson arrived at an already historic Black Mountain College, he had only this book of poems and his study of Melville, "Call Me Ishmael" (1947) published under his name. To think of all that Olson published post-Black Mountain, and his rising fame in international literary circles and the composition of his endless Maximus Poems during this time, the historical context surrounding existence of this early book cannot be understated. But it doesn't stop at Olson; The Black Sun Press, Corrado Cagli and Caresse Crosby make things all the more interesting. Caresse and her husband Harry Crosby founded The Black Sun Press in 1927 as Narcissus Editions, renaming the imprint to The Black Sun Press not long after. They were one of the major American expatriate presses operating during the Modernist epoch, publishing Hart Crane, James Joyce, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, D.H. Lawrence and Ernest Hemingway (accompanying him to "The Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona in 1927, reporting he could "...drink us under the table...") and Kay Boyle, among many others. Harry Crosby was a son to one of the richest banking families in Boston, MA, and nephew of the wife of J.P. Morgan--as such, he had considerable financial options and stability. Crosby was profoundly affected by his service in World War I, and vowed to live his life completely on his own terms having come so close to death during the war. He had an unabashed proclivity for "oceans of champagne," opium, cocaine and hashish. Harry and Caresse were frequent visitors to Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare & Company, and the list doesn't stop there. Harry and Caresse carried on an open marriage, and Harry made a suicide pact with one of his more fervent young lovers which both parties carried through with. This enabled Caresse to more fully devote herself to publishing, which she did with consummate excellence. A favorite quote of mine on the importance of Black Sun Press books came from dealer Neil Pearson, who said: "If you're interested in the best of what came out of Paris at that time, a Black Sun book is the literary equivalent of a Braque or a Picasso painting except it ís a few thousand pounds, not 20 million." From the collection of Ken & Ann Mikolowski, co-founders of Detroit's visionary Alternative Press (publishers of many Beat/"New York School"/Black Mountain-affiliated authors), which grew out of the Detroit Artist's Workshop. Book in very fine condition with only typical heavy rusting to staples and slight bleeding therefrom. Very Fine. [Item #3094]

Price: $200.00 save 15% $170.00

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