"IT'S A PERFECTLY SANITARY WAR": FIRST EDITION OF JONES' IN PARENTHESIS, A CLASSIC OF WORLD WAR I LITERATURE
JONES, David. In Parenthesis. Seinnyessit e Gledyf ym Penn Mameu. London: Faber & Faber, (1937). Octavo, original beige cloth, original dust jacket. $5800.
First edition, first printing, of this epic poem about the First World War, lauded by Yeats, Eliot, and Auden in its time, and increasingly recognized as one of the great works of modernism, with two illustrations and a map by the author. One of 1500 copies printed.
Winner of the prestigious Hawthornden prize and lauded by Yeats and Eliot, In Parenthesis narrated the First World War from the perspective of John Ball, a private in an English-Welsh regiment, from his departure from Britain through the Battle of the Somme. Auden called In Parenthesis "the greatest book about the First World War," while Graham Greene placed it "among the great poems of the century." Told in verse and prose and employing a number of modes of speech ranging from British dialects to military jargon, In Parenthesis captures the war as Jones saw it during his own experience as an infantryman. While often lost among the more famous contemporary war poets such as Wilfred Owen and Rupert Brooke, Jones "is increasingly regarded as an important, innovative poet, who has extended and refined the techniques of literary modernism" (Dictionary of Literary Biography).
Foxing to endpapers, frontispiece tissue-guard, and a few interior leaves, cloth clean. Dust jacket with shallow wear to spine head, short closed tear to front panel, minor tape reinforcement to verso, clean and exceptionally good.