[Item #5001] I, Leo: An Unfinished Novel. Lew Welch.
I, Leo: An Unfinished Novel
I, Leo: An Unfinished Novel

I, Leo: An Unfinished Novel

Bolinas, CA: Grey Fox Press, 1977. First Edition. Softcover. “How they are provided for upon the earth (appearing at intervals) / How dear and dreadful they are to the earth / How they inure themselves as much as to any— / what a paradox, appears their age / How people respond to them, yet know them not / How there is something relentless in their fate all times / How all times mischoose the objects of their adulation / and reward / And how the same inexorable price must still be paid for / the same great purchase.” (I, Leo pg.3) By 1960, Lew Welch (August 16, 1926 – May 1971?) was determined to finally write the autobiographical novel he had been ruminating on for some years. After a number of conversations with Jack Kerouac and seeing the products of Kerouac’s own autobiographical novels (“The Duluoz Legend,” as Kerouac himself called it), Welch set about on a similar project. Armed with rolls of teletype paper (at the suggestion of Kerouac) he embarked on the Herculean task of writing “I, Leo” and soon after finished the first four books of the project. It is essentially an account of his first two years at Reed College (1948-1950) and a chronicle of his first serious romance (as well as the writing of his B.A. thesis on Gertrude Stein). This work is as fascinating as the tragic, mysterious life and demise of its author; a must read for Welch fans & Beat scholars alike. This particular copy is from the collection of Erin Black Matson, the artist & poet who along with her then-husband, the acclaimed poet-educator Clive Matson, was a member of the Beat Generation-morphing into the hippie counterculture in NYC during the 1960s. The Matsons were friends & protégé-collaborators in a circle that included Herbert Huncke, Bonnie Bremser et al. First edition softcover, with no reference to other editions at copyright page. Book is in near fine condition with slight staining and smearing on front and back covers, with slight scratches and tears to corners on same. Slight spotting on text block, and little wear at binding. Near Fine. [Item #5001]

Price: $15.00

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