Grove Press, 1963. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine / Very Good. Item #1503620
A fine first US printing inscribed and dated by the author, Henry Miller, in a very good dust jacket. First printing of Grove Press hardcover edition. Black quarter-cloth, gray/green marbled paper boards, gilt spine lettering, gilt front cover facsimile author signature, black top-stain, cream endpapers. Dust jacket price 5.00. INSCRIBED by MILLER on the half-title page. Housed in a custom-made collectors slipcase. "Written during the same period as "Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn", and banned in the English-speaking world upon its publication in Paris in 1936, "Black Spring" is one of Miller's finest achievements, and arguably his most distinguished book from a stylistic point of view. It consists of a number of linked episodes describing some of the crucial years in his personal saga, from recollections of his childhood in Brooklyn to his time in Paris. Imbued with the spirit of Miller's life experience, "Black Spring" is a linguistic tour de force which brings together the American author's greatest merits." "In the second book of Miller's first trilogy, 'Black Spring', Miller abandons the novelistic pretense of telling any single story and instead creates a kind of collage of sketches, portraits, vignettes, essays, and poems-in-prose that once again combine to reveal the author in all his prodigious originality. This is the book, if the uninitiated reader can suspend the desire for conventional narrative and surrender to the spell of Miller's voice, that may be the best one-volume introduction to the author's work, as it represents multiple aspects of his literary persona. Perhaps the most marvelously disorienting section of Black Spring is "Into the Night Life . . . A Coney Island of the Mind," a 30-page dreamlike prose fantasia whose wild inventiveness, richness of imagination, and gorgeous sentences are breathtaking. Here is Miller cut loose beyond the stench of rotten circumstance and the arbitrary limits of "making sense" into a realm of ecstatic revelation, the writer as clown working the high wire without a net, performing for nothing so much as his own delight. The joy with which this acrobatic prose is infused is dangerously contagious. I say dangerous because, attempted with less virtuosity, this kind of writing, liberating as it may feel, is likely to result in an utterly unreadable mess. But why not, Miller might answer, make a mess? Life itself is a mess, and isn't art obliged to be faithful to life? " - Stephen Kessler.