Item #6837 EKSTASIS - WALLACE BERMAN'S COPY, INSCRIBED TO HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW. Philip Lamantia.
EKSTASIS - WALLACE BERMAN'S COPY, INSCRIBED TO HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW
EKSTASIS - WALLACE BERMAN'S COPY, INSCRIBED TO HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW

EKSTASIS - WALLACE BERMAN'S COPY, INSCRIBED TO HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW

San Francisco: The Auerhahn Press, 1959. First Edition. An extraordinary copy of the Italian-American poet's second collection of verse. "For California's poetry community of the 1950s and 1960s – and for Wallace Berman, in particular – Philip Lamantia served as a direct link to European Surrealism. More than any poet of his generation, Lamantia shared the Surrealists' enchantment with the irrational and he hungered for ecstatic experience. Lamantia was willing to pay the full price of admission for experiences demanding a conscious disordering of the senses, too, and his life was marked by drug addiction and the periodic bouts of depression that invariably afflict those who fly too close to the sun" (Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle, p.206). His connection to Berman was a significant one: Berman would include Lamantia's work in Semina 4, his photos of Lamantia shooting heroin would end up on the cover of Lamantia's first book, Narcotica. The inscription here by Berman to his brother-in-law is among the longest of the few such things we've seen or handled. Provenance: From the estate of Donald Morand, Berman's brother-in-law. Auerhahn 3. Item #6837

One of 950 copies. Octavo (17.5cm); original unprinted cream card wrappers, glued into the printed dustjacket; [48]pp. Almost certainly Wallace Berman's own copy, gifted to his brother-in-law, Donald Morand, and inscribed to him on the preliminary leaf a month following publication: "Don – Think you will like this work – you met Philip once up here – have a crazy birthday – see you later – W+S+Tosh / July-59." Offered together with the original announcement (measuring 6.75" x 3 5/8"), with the text set by David Haselwood, and photograph of Lamantia taken by Berman (with the printed credit being his pseudonym, Pantale Xantos); verso is postmarked June 17, 1959, addressed to "J. Edgar Berman" by the publisher. Wrappers and contents clean and Near Fine; outer jacket is irregularly sunned, edgeworn and lightly dust-soiled, with some biopredation to upper front wrapper, and a small nick to lower right corner of same; Very Good. Prospectus shows some light finger-soil and a few tiny ink spots, else well-preserved. Both items housed side-by-side in a custom clamshell case.

Price: $2,750.00

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