The Balcony. Jean Genet.
The Balcony
The Balcony

The Balcony

New York, NY: Grove Press Inc., 1958. First Edition. Hardcover. "The setting is a brothel in the midst of a revolution that has wiped out all the real holders of power except the Chief of Police, who now enlists the regular customers to play out the fantasy roles that destiny has denied them. The man from the gas company garbs himself as a bishop; a bank clerk defiles the Virgin Mary; another customer becomes a flagellant judge, and another a victorious general. In a series of macabre, climactic scenes, the playwright develops his mocking view of man and society." (from dust jacket back cover) A provocative work by Jean Genet (1910-1986), the great French avant-garde playwright, poet, novelist & memoirist whose legend lives as a true Literary (& literal) Outlaw. This is the first English-language edition, translated by Bernard Frechtman & published by Barney Rosset's fearless Grove Press, revered by collectors & free speech advocates. Hardcover in unclipped dust jacket, issued simultaneously with a softcover edition under publisher's Evergreen imprint & a very small, limited signed edition. This copy is from the library of Clayton Eshleman, the great American poet, translator & educator who has long resided in Michigan, our friend & mentor. Loosely included between inner front cover & first endpaper is a small card with the hand-written name of & (undoubtedly long-obsolete) information about Ed Sanders, the Beat-&-Beyond American poet, publisher & 1960s countercultural figure who is an acquaintance of Eshleman. An exemplary rarity in the Genet canon, with important provenance & an interesting piece of ephemera. Book in fine condition with only very mild wear & a few tiny bumps at edges & corners of grey cloth front, back covers & spine; moderate rubbing, browning & spotting to edges of text block esp. upper edge. Interior very fine with only slight browning & spotting to front & rear inner covers, endpapers. Dust jacket in fair condition with moderate rubbing, browning, creasing & scratching to front, back covers & spine; moderate-to-significant wear, chips & mostly closed tears at edges & corners of same esp. spine, upper front cover & back cover corners. Fine / fair. [Item #3364]

Price: $60.00

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