New York: Grove Press, Inc., 1961. 1st US Edition. Octavo, publisher's black cloth over blue marbled paper-covered boards, spine and upper board stamped in silver, top edge stained black, original printed dust jacket; ANS on author's stationary laid in folded.
"This book brings with it a wind that blows down the dead and hollow trees whose roots are withered and lost in the barren soil of our times. This book goes to the roots and digs under, digs for subterranean springs" (Anais Nin in her preface). Stated first printing of the first US edition of literary bad boy Henry Miller's controversial masterpiece, with an autograph note signed on Miller's personal stationery laid in. Written during his time as one of the many struggling expat writers in Paris in the 1930s, the novel is a stream-of-consciousness synthesis of autobiography and fiction. Originally published in 1934 in Paris by the Obelisk Press, the novel was banned in the US for decades and only granted publication rights per a US Supreme Court ruling nearly 30 years later (although numerous copies and piracies were smuggled into the country in the interim). Grove Press spent over $100,000 defending Miller in criminal and civil lawsuits until 1964, when it was finally ruled "not obscene." When asked about the controversy in an interview Miller replied: "One can't get bored with sex. But one is bored with making such a tremendous issue about it." Although the working title for the novel was Crazy Cock, Miller's original publishers vetoed the idea. Introduction by award-winning American poet Karl Shapiro, who considered Miller "the greatest living author" at the time; preface by Miller's literary paramour Anais Nin. Laid in is a full-page autograph note signed, expounding on the agonies of love: "More and more we are living on an arid plateau in which passion is ruled out. One has to be somewhat mad to love at all, let alone expect a response." The note is written in black marker on Miller's personal stationery upon which is printed a Brazilian proverb: "Cuando merda tiver valor pobre nasce sem cu" [When shit becomes valuable, the poor will be born without arseholes]. Light scuffing to spine-ends and top edge of upper board, lightest foxing and offsetting to endpapers; unclipped dust jacket with light rubbing and edgewear, far less than is typically seen, and some soiling to rear panel. Near fine, and most desirable with Miller's handwritten musings. Item #2711