"A COMPLEX WEB OF CONTRADICTORY DELUSIONS": THE SHOUT, SIGNED BY ROBERT GRAVES
GRAVES, Robert. The Shout. London: Elkin Mathews & Marrot, 1929. Slim octavo, original printed boards, matching endpapers, uncut. $300.
First separate edition of this "classic" dark short story, number 79 of only 530 copies signed by Graves.
"Classic short story first published in 1924, in which a mental patient explains to a cricket scorer how he acquired the ability to kill or drive men mad by shouting and how the power served him ill. A complex web of contradictory delusions" (Barron, Fantasy & Horror 4-55). "The story is of Rachel and Richard, a young couple who have promised each other total candor in their marriage… Their trinity is completed when they meet Charles Crossley, a devilish figure with whom Rachel falls in love… Rachel and Richard here clearly represent [Graves' wife] Nancy and Robert, while an unconscious fear of [Laura] Riding's supernatural powers—in which Graves sincerely believed—is behind the sinister figure of Crossley" (Seymour, Robert Graves: Life on the Edge, 138-39). "The Shout" was adapted for the screen by Michael Austin for the 1978 British horror film of the same title. This is number 16 of the publisher's "Woburn Books" series. Without scarce original dust jacket. Higginson A31.
Interior clean and fine, with faint offset to endpapers, minor toning to spine and edges. A near-fine signed copy.