“I SET OUT DELIBERATELY TO WRITE A TOUR-DE-FORCE”: FIRST EDITION OF FAULKNER’S AS I LAY DYING, IN ORIGINAL DUST JACKET
FAULKNER, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, (1930). Octavo, original tan cloth, original dust jacket.
First edition, very scarce first issue, of Faulkner’s “strange, hilarious, terrifying” masterpiece, in rarely found original dust jacket.
On October 25, 1929—the day after the great Wall Street panic broke out—Faulkner, by his own admission, "set out deliberately to write a tour-de-force." In the minds of countless readers, he succeeded. "As I Lay Dying is among Faulkner's most unified and satisfying novels; it hovers among the several peaks of his achivement… This strange, hilarious, terrifying novel presents the drama of a damaged family, with each character searching for a wholeness that cannot be restored, and that probably never was" (Parini, 144, 150). "In a single decade, with The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Light in August (1932) and Absalom, Absalom! (1936), William Faulkner irrevocably changed the geography of American literature… He was, in Frederick R. Karl's estimation, 'the closest figure to a Balzac that America has produced,' 'the first of the American moderns in fiction" (New York Times). First issue, with misplaced initial letter "I" on page eleven. "Daniel says 2522 copies were printed for the first edition, of which 750 copies have the 'I' on page eleven out of alignment' (Petersen A7.1a). "I" on front board printed without serif (as in Petersen A7.1b). Petersen A7.1a. Brodsky 75.
Book about-fine, unrestored dust jacket with minuscule wear to spine head and corners, near-fine. A lovely copy.