Angel that Troubled the Waters

Thornton WILDER

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“THE KIND OF WORK I WOULD MOST LIKE TO DO WELL”

WILDER, Thornton. The Angel that Troubled the Waters And Other Plays. New York: Coward McCann, 1928. Octavo, original blue paper boards, decorative endpapers, uncut, original dust jacket.

Signed limited first edition, number 698 of 750 large paper copies (total 775) signed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, with the first publication of Wilder’s “brilliant foreword” and five plays: The Angel that Troubled the Waters, Now the Servant’s Name Was Malchus, The Flight into Egypt, Hast Thou Considered My Servant Job? and Mozart and the Gray Steward.

Thorton Wilder is "the only American writer to have won a Pulitzer Prize for both drama (twice) and fiction" (New Yorker). The short plays in this major collection "have the perfection of intaglios, the delicate beauty of finest lace, the spiritual significance of poetry, the elusive music of the distant bird. In them the author of The Bridge of San Luis Rey offers more than is apparent at first glance" (New York Times Book Review). These significantly reveal the "deeply earnest concern with moral values (wthout didacticism or unction), one of the most salient features of Wilder's finest writing. There are also various hints of the manner of the great play, The Skin of Our Teeth, before it could have been conceived… But the publication of The Angel that Troubled the Waters was justified, if by nothing else, by the brilliant foreword which Wilder wrote for it" (Grebanier, Thornton Wilder, 11). Wilder's angel in that play "also centers Tony Kushner's Angels in America… Like Kushner, Wilder wrote during a turbulent time of transition away from 19th-century attitudes through the cataclysms of the first half of the 20th century… Bound together by the mythical metaphor of the apocalyptic angel, Kushner and Wilder each attempt to offer humanly redemptive dramas that stimulate both intellect and emotion" (Fisher, Theater of Tony Kushner).

This limited edition contains the first publication of Wilder's foreword and five plays: The Angel that Troubled the Waters, written shortly after Wilder received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Bridge of San Luis Rey, along with: Now the Servant's Name Was Malchus, The Flight into Egypt, Hast Thou Considered My Servant Job? and Mozart and the Gray Steward. With the first publication in book form of others written while Wilder was a student at Oberlin and Yale: initially appearing in issues of Oberlin Literary Magazine and Yale Literary Magazine (1916-1919); Centaurs in the magazine, S4N (1920). Printed on handmade paper, one of 750 copies offered for sale (775 total); without original slipcase. Schumacher 3. Bruccoli & Clark, 364.

Book fine, dust jacket seams with some expert reinforcement, loss to foot of spine.

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