The Vigilantes: A Fragment by Alan Ansen. Alan Ansen.
The Vigilantes: A Fragment by Alan Ansen
The Vigilantes: A Fragment by Alan Ansen

The Vigilantes: A Fragment by Alan Ansen

Sunbury, MA: Water Row Press, 1987. First Edition. Softcover. Lettered & Signed by (and with photograph of) Alan Ansen. "When Carl Solomon's Uncle, A.A. Wyn, the publisher of Ace Books, saw three chapters of THE VIGILANTES, he said, 'Ah, a study of the milieu.' The remark irritated me at the time (see the appended Statement); but I am now thirty-five years later inclined to see it as a fair comment. The fragment does have the redeeming quality of interest in other people, a trait that has not always characterized my subsequent work. Allen Ginsberg, thanks to his meeting in hospital with Carl Solomon, had hit upon Wyn as a potential publisher for writers he was interested in. The principal result of his endeavors was the publication of Burroughs' JUNKY. The VIGILANTES fragment was a side effect. I decided that unless the three chapters and the statement elicited an advance, I should abandon the work. They did not, and I did. This was not because I was in desperate need of funds but because I felt it was the kind of work that needed a concrete sign of public approval. Writing to please oneself has many charms, but language is a catholic medium; and social resonance, I find, tends to haunt to most ivory of towers. All the masques I have written had the prospect of performance, and I not infrequently find myself creatively paralyzed by an absence of external reaction. So much to account for the fragmentariness of THE VIGILANTES. Rereading it after so many years, I find it brings back a seminal period in my own life and may throw a modest light on certain aspects of American culture." (from Introduction). So writes Alan Ansen, notable early associate of the first wave of Beat Generation writers. Ansen grew up on Long Island, was educated at Harvard, and worked as W.H. Auden's secretary and research assistant in 1948-49. One wonders if it was with Auden he first encountered what Auden called "The Chemical Life." Ansen is "Rollo Greb" in "On the Road," (New York, NY: Grove Press, 1957); "AJ" in WSB's "Naked Lunch" (Paris, France: The Olympia Press, 1959); and "Dad Deform" in Gregory Corso's "American Express" (Paris, France: The Olympia Press, 1961). As author & friend of Ansen, William Gaddis wrote in a letter in 1983, Ansen never got the credit for being the mentor ("the mentor" as "exemplary scholar") that he was for the early Beats, "...staying up with Jack until dawn drinking and talking." 1/26 limited, signed, lettered copies with photograph of Alan Ansen; this is copy "W." Signature in thick blue felt-pen ink reads: Alan Ansen." Book in fine condition with moderate rubbing to front, back covers; slight shelf-wear to fine-edges; a few minute smudges near rightmost fine-edge of front cover. Fine. [Item #3800]

Price: $100.00