“A HYMN TO THE INARTICULATE AMERICAN WORKER”: SIGNED LIMITED EDITION OF THE HAIRY APE, WITH ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALEXANDER KING, SIGNED BY EUGENE O’NEILL
O'NEILL, Eugene. The Hairy Ape. New York: Horace Liveright, 1929. Slim quarto, original half black cloth and decorative paper boards, uncut; original dust jacket, original slipcase. $600.
Signed limited first separate and illustrated edition, number 692 of only 775 copies signed by Eugene O’Neill, with dust jacket illustration, frontispiece and eight splendid full-page color lithographs by Alexander King, a beautiful copy.
“The Hairy Ape stemmed, according to the author, from [his earlier play] The Emperor Jones rather than from the work of the European Expressionists, which it in many ways resembles. It is a hymn to the inarticulate American worker, debased and exploited by the society that benefits from his toil” (Hartnoll, 612). Alexander King, in addition to being an illustrator and a commercial artist, was a noted memoirist and raconteur and a frequent guest on the Jack Paar Show. The Hairy Ape was first produced onstage in 1920 and was first published in 1922 in a volume of O’Neill plays that also contained Anna Christie and The First Man. The present edition of The Hairy Ape is uniform in design and size with editions of The Emperor Jones (1928) and Anna Christie (1930), both also illustrated by King. Atkinson A20-IV-I. Sanborn & Clark 32. With laid-in playbill from a Provincetown Player’s production of The Hairy Ape at the Lyric Theatre.
A fine copy.