[Item #4977] The Nine Songs. Arthur Waley.
The Nine Songs
The Nine Songs
The Nine Songs
The Nine Songs

The Nine Songs

ISBN: 0872860752
San Francisco, CA: City Lights Books, 1973. First Edition Thus. Softcover. "In ancient China the shaman was prophet, healer, dancer and singer, sometimes regarded an outcast, though treated always with high consideration. In these beautiful songs, known in China since at least the second century A.D., the always fleeting relationship of shaman and Spirit is seen as that of lovers...Arthur Waley translates each poem with a commentary on the various deities whom the shamans served, and in an introduction he gives a general account of shamanism in early China. The songs are also relevant to contemporary China, for Ch'u Yuan (to whom they are traditionally attributed) may almost be said to have taken, in Maoist China, the place of Confucius as a national culture-hero." (from back cover) Ancient Chinese poems in the shamanistic tradition translated into English by Arthur Waley (1889-1966), the great British scholar & author. Originally published in the UK in 1955, this is the 1973 edition published by Lawrence Ferlinghetti's iconic City Lights imprint. Trade-format softcover, First edition thus, from first & apparently only printing of 3000 copies issued in October 1973 (Cook, No. 103, pgs. 110-111). With Waley's introduction on early Chinese shamanism, & his explanatory notes throughout. From the collection of Erin Black Matson, the late artist-poet who, along with her then-husband the acclaimed poet & educator Clive Matson, was a member 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. A fascinating & rewarding volume somewhat off the Beaten track (so to speak) of the City Lights oeuvre, with distinguished provenance. The relatively near-fine condition of this item reflects its long ownership & use by Erin, who was a tried-&-true Beat-Bohemian to the end: Moderate rubbing, browning, scratching & occasional spotting to front, back covers & spine; mild wear & some tiny bumps, creases at edges & corners of same; mild rubbing, browning & moderate spotting to edges of text block. Interior fine with mild browning, occasional spotting to blank inner covers, blank front endpaper & printed (index) rear endpaper; rectangular area of residual browning-spotting at latter where bookmark probably resided; tiny areas of bleeding from spots noted above onto side edges of a few page leaves; tiny bumps at corners of a few of same. Near Fine. [Item #4977]

Price: $20.00