Item #4707 We Moderns. Frances Steloff.
We Moderns

We Moderns. Gotham Book Mart 1920-1940

New York: Gotham Book Mart, 1941. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's illustrated paper wraps over stapled textblock.

"Frances Steloff made the Gotham Book Mart. Then it turned around and made her. You couldn’t have one without the other" (W.G. Rogers, Steloff’s biographer). Influential bookseller's catalog from NYC literary landmark Frances Steloff’s Gotham Book Mart, inscribed by her to the upper wrap: "For Gertrude Sherman, all good wishes / Frances Steloff." Published to celebrate the beloved shop’s 20th anniversary, this descriptive catalog cum bibliography abounds with personal recollections and original commentary on an array of Modernist heavyweights by their contemporaries, followed by price listings for current and "dead" publications, including first editions, presentation copies, letters, manuscripts, anthologies, and "little mags." The slim yet exhaustive volume comprises over 1000 entries, with contributions from numerous notables and prominent critics, including: Richard Eberhart on W.H. Auden, Kay Boyle on Djuna Barnes, John Dos Passos on e.e. cummings, Sherwood Anderson on William Faulkner, Dorothy Norman on Franz Kafka, Ezra Pound on T.S. Eliot, Samuel Putnam on Ernest Hemingway, Eugene Jolas on James Joyce, James Laughlin on Henry Miller, and more. Additionally rounded out with three introductions to what Steloff considered her "crowning glory" by Samuel Putnam, Dudley Fitts, and William Carlos Williams, and two brief descriptions on surrealism and "little magazines." Based on the format of the shop’s "Book-Collectors Odyssey" catalog, this issue, which stands as #42, is credited for playing an instrumental role in shaping the Modernist canon. Cover photograph taken by writer and influential New York literary figure Carl Van Vechten of Ruth Bower’s painting "The Life of the Party at Finnegans Wake," created to celebrate the appearance of Joyce's novel in 1939. Some edgewear. Very good. Uncommon inscribed. Item #4707


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