The Subterraneans. Jack Kerouac.
The Subterraneans

The Subterraneans

London, England: Andre Deutsch, 1960. First British Edition, First Printing in Second Issue Dust Jacket. Hardcover. "The author of On the Road and The Dharma Bums usually chooses to cover a large canvas, to give a great panorama of the Subterranean (or Beatnik) way of life. In this novel he does something different. He focuses sharply on one incident: the love of Leo and Mardou. It is a fierce, sweet, sad love, lived outside the boundaries of square morality, and Jack Kerouac evokes it with a vibrating intensity. Some people feel that it is the best of his novels; certainly it is the most moving." (front flap) A now-classic short novel by Jack Kerouac, Founding Father of the Beat Generation. As with all his works, this is an emotional, romanticized diary-memoir based on his & his legendary friends' own lives. Here, his alter-ego is Leo Percepied, pursuing an intense love affair with Mardou Fox, based on the African-American Beat associate Alene Lee. During the early 1950s, when this was originally written & its action takes place, an interracial romance was indeed "outside the boundaries" of mainstream American society. Other of Kerouac's real-life Beat associates appear here, including William S. Burroughs ("Frank Carmody"), Neal Cassady ("Leroy") & Allen Ginsberg ("Adam Moorad"). Offered here is the first British edition, published two years after the first American edition. See Charters, A3(d), pg. 22. We have seen a second printing with the following printed on copyright page: "First published July 1960 by/ Andre Deutsch Limited/...Second Impression August 1960." On copyright page of this copy, the language is: "First published 1960 by/ Andre Deutsch Limited." Charter notes the "red cloth lettered in gold on spine" in the above reference, & that "Green and blue cloth covers also issued with no known priority." This copy has red covers & spine with gold lettering; the second impression we encountered has green covers & spine with gold lettering. The unclipped dust jacket has "Second impression" printed at lower front flap. We therefore conclude that this is a first British printing in second-issue dust jacket. By the time this edition was published, the American film starring Leslie Caron as Mardou & George Peppard as Leo was released & being promoted, including on front cover of this DJ featuring a still of Caron from the movie (a lame, campy production exemplary of Hollywood's contemporary, conventionalizing "castration" of Kerouac's work & the Beat phenomenon, as he would have put it). A very rare & most collectible incarnation of this creation in the Kerouac canon. Book in fine condition with only a tiny amount of wear & a few miniscule bumps at edges & corners of front, back covers & spine; mild rubbing, browning & spotting to edges of text block esp. upper edge. Interior with previous owner's signature in blue ink with "London Oct(ober) 1960" hand-written below it also in blue ink on blank front endpaper; otherwise nearly mint. Dust Jacket in good-to-near-fine condition with mild rubbing, scratching & creasing to front, back covers & spine; mild-to-moderate wear, creasing, chipping & mostly short, closed tears at edges & corners of same. Fine / Good-Near Fine. [Item #3365]

Price: $150.00

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