WEEGEE BY WEEGEE, INSCRIBED BY WEEGEE
WEEGEE. Weegee by Weegee: An Autobiography. New York: Ziff-Davis, (1961). Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. $2500.
First edition of Weegee’s colorful autobiography, profusely illustrated with 116 black-and-white photographs, boldly inscribed: “To Bernie… Weegee 1962.”
Polish-born Arthur Felig was dubbed “Ouija” by New York City cops in the 1930s for his uncanny ability to appear at crime scenes before the police did. A tabloid-news photographer for the Daily News, The Herald Tribune, and The Post, Weegee was known for his gritty, confrontational photos of the demi-monde. “The book that made Weegee famous, Naked City, was made into a film, and eventually, he went to Hollywood to make several short films and to act in others. But Weegee is best remembered as the chronicler of a particular place and time: New York City in the first half of the 20th century. He was a news photographer, and if we accept the definition of poetry as ‘news that stays news,’ he was a poet with a camera” (Roth, 118). This autobiography includes his account of the success of Naked City and his subsequent sojourn in Hollywood. As Weegee died of a brain tumor in 1968, signed copies of this work are scarce.
Book very nearly fine with slight soiling to inscription page, dust jacket near-fine with a few small closed tears and light rubbing. A near-fine copy, quite scarce inscribed.