"AT THE HEAD OF A TRADITION": FINE FIRST EDITION OF DARK CARNIVAL, RAY BRADBURY'S FIRST BOOK, INSCRIBED BY HIM
BRADBURY, Ray. Dark Carnival. Sauk City, Wisconsin: Arkham House, 1947. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket.
First edition of Bradbury's important first book, inscribed by him in red ink, "For F— P— this 1st edition of Dark Carnival published in 1947, With good wishes from Ray Bradbury May 1978."
The legendary Bradbury was "as influenced by George Bernard Shaw and William Shakespeare as he was by Jules Verne… Bradbury's poetically drawn and atmospheric fictions—horror, fantasy, shadowy American gothics—explored life's secret corners" (Los Angeles Times). The 27 stories collected in Dark Carnival mark Bradbury's departure from publishing in pulp magazines. Their "stylistic deftness… stands at the head of a tradition in modern horror fiction" (Barron 4-24). "Evocative, poetic and suffused with youthful wonder, Bradbury's tales broke with pulp conventions in their style and approach to the fantastic… Collected in his first book Dark Carnival… they mesh to form a small-town landscape in which the magic possibilities of ordinary life and the banality of the fantastic are indistinguishable from one another" (Clute & Grant, 132). Because only 3112 copies were printed, "Dark Carnival was never widely available," and in 1955 Arkham House published The October Country, which is "substantially a reprint of Dark Carnival" (Horror 100 Best 55). With pictorial dust jacket designed by George Barrows. Currey, 55.
A fine inscribed copy.