"A NEW AND EXHILERATING PHASE IN… MODERN WRITING": FIRST EDITION OF GRENDEL, INSCRIBED BY JOHN GARDNER
GARDNER, John. Grendel. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1971. Octavo, original purple cloth, original dust jacket. $4500.
First edition of Gardner's third novel, his "violent, inspiring, awesome, terrifying" reimagining of the legendary tale, inscribed on the title page by him, “To R—, Best wishes, John Gardner," a beautiful copy.
"Grendel, which daringly retells the Beowulf legend from the viewpoint of the monster whom Beowulf kills, is a complex and brilliantly styled parable of consciousness, the consciousness of death and the compensatory urge to create lasting monuments of the mind" (Vinson, 493). "The world, Gardner seems to be suggesting in his violent, inspiring, awesome, terrifying narrative, has to defeat its Grendels, yet somehow, he hints… that world is a poorer place when men and their monsters cannot coexist" (Christian Science Monitor). The novels of John Gardner, who died in 1982, represent, "in the eyes of many critics and reviewers, a new and exhilarating phase in the enterprise of modern writing, a consolidation of the resources of the contemporary novel and a leap forward—or backward—into a reestablished humanism" (Paris Review). "First Edition" on copyright page. With illustrations from line drawings by Emil Antonucci.
A fine copy.