FIRST EDITION, FRENCH ISSUE, OF THE NIGHT, 1976, WRITTEN BY PATTI SMITH AND HER FREQUENT COLLABORATOR, SIGNED BY PATTI SMITH
SMITH, Patti and VERLAINE, Tom. The Night. La Nuit. [Paris]: (Edition Fear Press), . Tall, slim octavo (4 by 10-3/4 inches), staple-bound as issued, original pictorial black paper wrappers; pp. 12. $1000.
First edition, French issue, of this collection of 22 poems, half by Smith and the other half by pioneering guitarist Tom Verlaine, who co-wrote the song "Break it Up" with Smith on her debut album Horses, signed on the rear wrapper by Patti Smith.
Publication of The Night, the only work co-authored by Patti Smith and Tom Verlaine, came about when poets Allen Fisher and Richard Miller sent a letter to Smith in 1976, "asking her to prepare a poetic book, which would be released in the underground publishing scene in London" (Joanna Ros). Published that year, it features 22 poems, eleven by Smith (designated by odd numbers) and eleven by Verlaine (even numbered). A highly respected and innovative guitarist in the band Television, Verlaine co-authored the song Break It Up with Smith on Horses (1975), her debut album. Smith would recall that in 1974: "'I went to CBGBs to see Television… [with] a guitarist named Tom Verlaine… I saw what I was looking for. People who were intelligent, who were revolutionary, who were merging poetry and rock and roll… Television had taken what we doing another step'… CBGBs had opened a few months earlier, and the Television appearances there in the spring of 1974 inaugurated the post-glam, early-punk period in New York music" (New Yorker). In Just Kids (2010) Smith wrote of their work on Horses: "In Break It Up Tom Verlaine and I wrote of a dream in which Jim Morrison, bound like Prometheus, suddenly broke free." Verlaine and Television's "importance cannot be overstated… the Patti Smith Group, the Ramones, and Blondie would all follow suit, but Television is most responsible for planting the punk flag on the Bowery" (Jason Diamond in Paris Review). First edition, French issue, published simultaneously with the Aloes Book London issue. This French issue is bilingual, with English on the right and French on the left. A planned second part to The Night was never issued.