[Item #5836] Faust Foutu: A Comic Masque. Robert Duncan.
Faust Foutu: A Comic Masque
Faust Foutu: A Comic Masque
Faust Foutu: A Comic Masque

Faust Foutu: A Comic Masque

Stinson Beach, CA: Enkidu Surrogate, 1959. Limited Third Edition. Stapled Wrappers. (Berholf A7c, pg. 33-34). “In a letter to Henry Wenning dated 7 Nov. 1962, Robert Duncan wrote: “In 1953 when this play was completed, I rented a mimeograph machine and ran off, 100 copies I think it was….Copies were mailed to Black Mountain College where Act I was performed in 1954, with music composed by Stefan Wolpe. A reading performance of the complete play was given in San Francisco in 1954.” As the highly intriguing historical formation of “Foust Fouto,” charted in Robert J. Bertholf’s (the Dean of Duncan Scholars) masterful “Robert Duncan: A Descriptive Bibliography” notes, “Faust Fouto” is a play of many distinctions, and unique among the Duncan oeuvre. This, because its publication history and debut as a performed theatre piece so perfectly illustrate the loose but distinguishable connection between the Black Mountain “school” of poetics, the First San Francisco Renaissance, and the Beat Generation in New York. As the quotation above relays, Duncan completes the play c. 1953, and it immediately gets shuffled off to the then-crumbling (literally) Black Mountain College, where it is enthusiastically performed by a team led by the students of Charles Olson and Robert Creeley. Immediately following this, it’s put on by a Beat-affiliated theatre company in San Francisco in 1954, and then by the American Theatre for Poets in New York. So, from Black Mountain to San Francisco to New York, Duncan’s “Faust Fouto” made the rounds quickly, enjoying publicity and stage time in all three major outposts of mid-century American literature. The play has been described as “an experimental exploration of the artist’s dilemma, drawing upon the Faust legend and set in the milieu of the 1950s avant-garde” (Black Mountain College Museum). This edition, the Enkidu Surrogate edition of 1959, was published a year after the completion of Faust Fouto’s second act. While technically the “Third Edition” of this play, one is wise to remember that Enkidu Surrogate – Duncan and his partner, the painter Jess Collins’ very own imprint — had just begun in 1959, and this is Enikidu Surrogate’s second publication. So, it’s not devalued by the fact of it being a Third Edition, considering how integral Robert and Jess’ collaborative work for Enkidu Surrogate was for the West Coast literary tradition and Mid-Century American Literature writ large. Softcover in stapled wrappers: the first Enkidu Surrogate edition and “Third Edition,” altogether (as noted above); first printing. One of 750 copies issued during November 1959 per colophon (though copyrighted 1960). From the collection of Robin Eichele (b. 1941), noted Mimeograph Revolutionary & co-founder (with John Sinclair) of the Detroit Artists’ Workshop. In near fine condition with moderate-to-enunciated shelf-wear, bumping to fine-edges & corners of front, back covers & spine-edge; some rubbing, spotting, age-toning (yellowing/browning) to varying locales throughout, all generally mild, though slightly more pronounced near spine-edge of same. Near Fine. [Item #5836]

Price: $175.00