[Item #4928] How I Became One of the Invisible. David Rattray.
How I Became One of the Invisible
How I Became One of the Invisible
How I Became One of the Invisible
How I Became One of the Invisible

How I Became One of the Invisible

ISBN: 0936756985
New York, NY: Semiotext(e) in Conjunction with MIT Press, 1992. First Printing. Softcover. "I assured my new acquaintance, Alden Van Buskirk, or Van for short--he was still blinking and rubbing his eyes in bewilderment--that the strong ale was bound to bring relief. I noticed Van was reading Whitman, Eliot, Hart Crane…also Dylan Thomas. / Early in spring of 1960, when Van was about to graduate, we met again, this time thanks to a reading of works by Rilke and John Wieners that had been organized by Jack Hirschman. From him Van had first learned of the new poets who were springing up in Boston, New York, and San Francisco, outside Academe and in opposition to all that Eisenhower America stood for." (From Pgs. 7-8). That, Dear Reader, is just one among many curiosity-piquing excerpts from poet-translator-scholar David Rattray's (1946-1993) "How I Became One of the Invisible," first published in 1992 by the influential Semiotext(e) magazine in conjunction with M.I.T. Press. Rattray is best known to this author as the translator/ literary-archaeological excavator behind yet another little-known, mad black sunflower of the French Avant-Garde, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte [See TMB Item #4785]. The influence of Gilbert-Lecomte, a respected contemporary of Rene Daumal (the Truly Gonzo author behind "A Night of Serious Drinking" & "Mount Analogue," -- the latter of which was first published in translation by City Lights Books in 1971) is reliably in evidence here. This work (something to be expected, perhaps, when dealing with a translator of obscure French poets) is wonderfully eclectic…an assemblage without bounds. It gleefully skirts the borders between memoir, criticism, biography, philosophy--and does so genuinely...entirely avoiding the faux transgressive, blustering airs put on by others of similar politico-poetic orientation. While Your Devoted Assistant Curator disagrees with many of Rattray's presumptions (marinated, as they sometimes are, in Postmodern theory) Rattray's reportage (where cold-factual biography is the metric of concern) is formidable. This strength of Rattray's is best exemplified (in the mind of this author), by the sections regarding the visionary Junkie Surrealist (& Beat predecessor), Antonin Artaud. The work is made further made fascinating by the many, milieu-specific memoir excerpts peppered throughout—all similar (in subject & origin) to the selection quoted above. From the collection of Erin Black Matson, the late artist-poet who, along with her then-husband the acclaimed poet & educator Clive Matson, were members of the Beat Generation as it morphed into the hippie counterculture during the 1960s. The Matsons were colleagues & protégés (in lifestyle as much as literature) of Herbert Huncke, Bonnie & Ray Bremser, Diane di Prima et al. This copy bears an informal signature & accompanying address from Matson--a feature we now recognize as common to many titles whose provenance can be traced Matson's personal library. The inscription & accompanying signature, in thin, black pen ink, reads: "Ex Libris Erin Matson / POB 683 / (illegible) / NY 12455." Book in near fine condition with only minute shelf-wear to fine-edges & slight rubbing to back cover; distributor sticker (as-issued by publisher) at bottom right-hand corner of same, with "Distributed by MIT Press" above barcode & accompanying ISBN; while complete, the binding is loosening at interior: the suite of leaves beginning with the title page-through-pg. 6 is glued together at leftmost fine-edge, though unattached from interior binding—this, as it happens, was a design flaw native to most all books published in Semiotext(e)'s all-softcover "Native Agents" series. Near Fine. [Item #4928]

Price: $10.00