THE TIGHT-ROPE WALKER by LEVINE, Norman (1923-2005)


Edition: First printing

London: Totem Press, 1950. Inscribed by Author; Tall octavo, black cloth, spine gilt lettered. pp (32), printed on thick laid paper, fore & bottom edges rough trimmed. Frontispiece drawing by Sven Berlin. Contemporary Montreal owner's name and address on blank recto of frontispiece (Dorothy E. Ryder), else a fine, jacketless copy. Laid in is the uncommon prospectus, a single sheet folded to make four pages. Miss Ryder's red pencil name in top margin, horizontal crease from folding. In addition to promotional content, contains the title poem, which has been signed by the author in bottom margin and has a few words underscored. Additionally, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper for a book collector "For____, all the poems here were set to music & performed in London, England. Norman Levine". The first (and only) book with the Totem imprint, printed by Guido Morris at The Latin Press in Saint Ives, Cornwall. The press was launched by Canadians, and the prospectus advertises THE TOTEM ANTHOLOGY OF MODERN CANADIAN WRITING for 1951, but it never appeared. Levine's second and scarcest of his early books. Limitation not stated but the print run would likely have been only a few hundred. Levine lived most of his life in Corwall, continuing to publish mostly very lean and focused short stories. The Latin Press, founded in 1935 by Douglas "Guido" Morris (1910-1980) was mostly a fine jobbing press printing posters, catalogues, and ephemera for the St. Ives artist's community as well as a number of chapbooks. He was bankrupt several times and the imprint finally ceased in 1953. There was an article on him in "The Private Library" in 1969. Collections are held at the Bodlein, the BL, the Newberry, and the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. ; Signed by Author

Book ID: 42086
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