GO. John Clellon Holmes.
GO

GO

New York, NY: Ace Books, Circa 1952. First Softcover Edition. Softcover. "Against a backdrop of fast-drinking, wild jazz, and all-night parties, the young men and women of today who make up what they call the "Beat Generation" carry on their desperate search for a meaning to their lives." (from front endpaper) The novel that is considered among the very first published works about what would thereafter become known as the Beat Generation, by John Clellon Holmes (1926-1988). Holmes met & befriended Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg & especially Jack Kerouac during the later 1940s in NYC, & GO is based on his experiences with & observations of Cassady, Ginsberg, Kerouac & co., who appear as fictional characters with different names. On page 38 of this edition, the character Gene Pasternak, representing Kerouac, is quoted as saying: "You know, everyone I know is kind of furtive, kind of beat. They all go along the street like they were guilty of something, but didn't believe in guilt. I can spot them immediately! And it's happening all over the country, to everyone; a sort of revolution of the soul, I guess you'd call it!" Later during the year that this novel was first issued (1952), Holmes published an article in the New York Times Magazine entitled "This Is the Beat Generation," which began the process of popularizing that term as we've come to know it. All of this occurred before the publications of Ginsberg's Howl, Kerouac's On the Road & William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch would blindingly inaugurate the (often distorted & misunderstood) popular conception of the Beat Generation, whose original activities a decade earlier are depicted here. Holmes was known as the "Quiet Beat," his work here is that of a careful observer, not as innovative as that which those depicted would famously produce, but a pioneering precursor of it. This is the first softcover edition, presumed first printing although not stated on copyright page, published by A.A. Wynn Inc.'s Ace Books, the quintessential 1950s pulp paperback imprint that produced the very first incarnation of Junky by William S. Burroughs ("Junkie" by "William Lee," 1953). As stated on front cover, this edition is "Specially Revised and Abridged by the Author." The copyright year is 1952 as with the first hardcover edition, but we are fairly certain that this was issued some years later during the 1950s, as its promotional sensationalizing of the term "Beat Generation" suggests that the term had become popular, not yet the case when the book was first published. An exemplary Ace production, with loud design & illustration on covers & spine. The second-rarest version of this foundational collectible in the Holmes & Beat canon. In relatively near-fine condition, as good or better as any likely to be found for this type of cheaply mass-produced item: Moderate-to-mild rubbing, creasing, spotting & scratching to front, back covers & spine; mild wear & some tiny bumps, small creases at edges & corners of same; moderate rubbing, browning & spotting to edges of text block. Interior near-fine with inevitable but relatively moderate browning of pulp-quality page leaves esp. at blank margins; several page leaves with small spotting-residue areas esp. pgs. 48-49 with no substantial effect on legibility of text; loosening of spine-glue resulting in slightly uneven text block side-edge, but all leaves still attached. Near Fine. [Item #3412]

Price: $60.00