[Item #5810] The Paris Review Vol. 8 No. 31 (Winter-Spring 1964). George Plimpton, Robert Bly, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, James Dickey, Donald Hall, Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, W. S. Merwin, Henry Miller, Adrienne Rich.
The Paris Review Vol. 8 No. 31 (Winter-Spring 1964)
The Paris Review Vol. 8 No. 31 (Winter-Spring 1964)
The Paris Review Vol. 8 No. 31 (Winter-Spring 1964)
The Paris Review Vol. 8 No. 31 (Winter-Spring 1964)

The Paris Review Vol. 8 No. 31 (Winter-Spring 1964)

Paris, France: The Paris Review, 1964. First Printing. Softcover. A most unusual copy of this Paris Review issue, a binding error created a one-of-a-kind version that excludes Henry Miller (1891-1980) at the height of his censorship battle in the United States. We can’t say for sure that this is why it happened, but it is very interesting that the missing section includes his contribution as well as those of Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) and Louis-Ferdinand Céline (1894-1961), both of whom dealt with censorship issues. Kerouac supported the beat writers in their trials against obscenity accusations in the ‘50s (Allen Ginsberg for “Howl” and William S. Burroughs for Naked Lunch). In 1951, Céline was found guilty by the French government for “activities harmful to the national defence” for his antisemitic wartime writings. His contribution “Journey to the End of Night” is part of the excluded section. Miller’s book Tropic of Cancer was involved in dozens of obscenity trials until the case was appealed to the Supreme Court whose ruling deemed it unconstitutional to ban Miller’s work. This decision was made in June of 1964, just months after this issue’s publication. Miller’s absent contribution is “A letter on Céline” written after his death; also excluded is James Sherwood’s piece on Céline and the Review’s interview with Céline. Is it possible a renegade sabotaged the binding process to exclude these “obscene” writers? As a French publisher, perhaps a personal distaste for Céline in particular was the driving motivation since the section was heavily dedicated to him. No other similar versions can be found online even though the issue can still be purchased both used and new. Whether or not more erroneous copies exist is a mystery. Most people may come across the error and not think about why or how it came to be. Coincidence? Perhaps. It seems like a wild conspiracy for one copy to be tampered with; it’s more likely a small batch of prints were affected (intentionally or not) and went unnoticed. If they were noticed, at least one was overlooked and made it into circulation. The pagination runs through 96, 97-128 are correct though unpaginated, and then it jumps to page 161. As you can see from the table of contents, 129-160 are the locations for the aforementioned pieces as well as the last five poets listed. The Money Machine by Warren Miller (1921-1966) is abridged, jumping in 9 pages into the story. Page 168 begins the Review’s anniversary staff acknowledgments and an index of all contributors in their first decade. The index is cut off at “r” to once again jump to page 161, only filling in the gap of 31 pages. It couldn’t be the full final section since another 16 pages would be noticeably different in size and may draw attention. The sections that are included here feature an interview with Norman Mailer, a portfolio of new poetry, and an interview with South African artist Louis de Wet (1930-2018) with black and white images of his drawings. Still a worthwhile read, it would be an eccentric & unique addition to any collection. From the collection of Allen Tobias, assistant to Allen Ginsberg beginning in the 1960s, curator, critical author & scholar who is our good friend & esteemed colleague at the European Beat Studies Network (ebsn.eu). Trade-format softcover, complete with attached subscription card. Book is in Good-to-Near-Fine condition with moderate chipping, peeling along the edges of spine; minor spotting, rubbing, scratching present on back cover; otherwise fine. Good-Near Fine. [Item #5810]

Price: $75.00