Bottom Dogs. Edward Dahlberg.
Bottom Dogs
Bottom Dogs
Bottom Dogs

Bottom Dogs

New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1930. First American Edition. Hardcover. "This terrifying first novel by a young American is the story of a boy who recoils from everything, has no positive feeling of respect or affection or relationship of any sort. He is representative, horribly representative, of the bottom-dog strata of America, wherein men and women drift, with no will to live or even to exist, but with merely a will to persist. As we watch the hero, Lorry Lewis, in his aimless wandering over the face of the continent, drifting wearily from one job to another, an entire level of American life is for the first time revealed to us. It is the level of the bottom-dogs, doomed forever, blotchy-minded, sub-animal." (from front flap) The hard-hitting first novel by Edward Dahlberg (1900-1977), the great American writer whose Dickensian early life inspired this autobiographical classic of very realistic fiction. With an eloquent, disturbing introduction by none other than D.H. Lawrence. First published in England the previous year (1929), offered here is the first American edition, presumed first printing, in original unclipped, unrestored dust jacket. While of a generation & culture preceding it, there are significant parallels between Dahlberg's life & work to that of the Beat Generation, as our Third Minders may know: The first issue of Big Table contained several contributions by Dahlberg, alongside excerpts from Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs & "Old Angel Midnight" by Jack Kerouac. The second issue of BT also had work by Dahlberg alongside that of WSB, Lawrence Ferlinghetti & Allen Ginsberg. Both Dahlberg & the Beats wrote from life, & fearlessly described the reality behind conventional mainstream American culture. There is a line of revealing (& romanticizing) the American vagabond-hobo life from before Dahlberg, through Thomas Wolfe, Kerouac et al. & beyond. Needless to say, the revelations of this novel, its kin & progeny are all-too-applicable to the societal condition of the American continent today. A cornerstone collectible in the Dahlberg, & world-literary, canon. Book in fine condition with only very mild rubbing & sunning esp. at-near edges of front, back covers & spine, but with bold lettering & graphics on spine & esp. front cover quite intact; very light wear & fading at edges & corners of same; moderate browning, rubbing & scratching to edges of text block with mild fading of blue coloring at top edge of same. Interior very fine with only moderate browning of inner covers & endpapers; tiny bumps at corners of a few page leaves. Dust jacket in fair-to-poor condition with moderate browning, rubbing, creasing to front, back covers & spine; moderate-to-significant sunning/fading of spine; extreme wear of all edges & corners with loss of paper at all lower edges & upper spine-edge, slightly effecting text; one mostly closed, vertical tear from upper near-left edge onto front cover, effecting only the first letter "O" in "Bottom." It should be noted that despite this dust jacket's less-than-ideal condition, the text is largely unaffected & it is in as good or better shape than other such unrestored ninety-year-old specimens we have seen images or read descriptions of. Fine / Fair-Poor. [Item #3369]

Price: $200.00