"YET AGAIN, YE GODS!": LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF HISTOIRE DU SOLDAT, ONE OF ONLY 110 COPIES PRINTED AT THE GONFALON PRESS, INSCRIBED BY VONNEGUT TO DON FARBER, HIS CLOSE FRIEND, AGENT, AND LITERARY EXECUTOR, AND FARBER'S WIFE, ANNIE, WITH AN ORIGINAL SELF-PORTRAIT SKETCH
VONNEGUT, Kurt. Histoire du Soldat. [Tuscaloosa, Alabama]: Gonfalon Press, 1997. Octavo, original half red cloth. $1850.
Signed limited first edition of Vonnegut's unique libretto for the Stravinsky masterpiece, number 11 of only 110 copies signed by Michael Fallon of Alabama's Gonfalon Press, inscribed by Kurt Vonnegut in the year of publication to Don Farber, Vonnegut's close friend, agent, attorney, and literary executor, and Farber's wife, Annie: "Yet Again, Ye Gods! For Don and Annie—Kurt Vonnegut, Oct. 20 1997," with an original self-portrait of Vonnegut smoking a cigarette.
"In 1993, New York Philomusica commissioned Kurt Vonnegut to write a new libretto for L'Histoire du Soldat ("The Soldier's Tale"), Stravinsky's theatrical work about a violin-playing grunt's deal with the devil. Vonnegut—the novelist was, as his readers know, a World War II prisoner of war—replaced the narration, by C.F. Ramuz, with a new text about Eddie Slovik, who in 1945 became the last American soldier to be shot for desertion" (New York Magazine). This copy is inscribed by Vonnegut to Don Farber and his wife, Annie. Farber was Vonnegut's agent, attorney, literary executor, and close friend. Perhaps best known for zealously protecting Vonnegut's estate after his death, Farber also wrote a memoir focusing on his friendship with Vonnegut, entitled, I Hated to Do It: Stories of a Life. Evidently, Vonnegut's copy of this work was lost in a fire and, when he was offered a new one, he refused. This copy is therefore likely as close to a personal copy as can be obtained.