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The Beast in Me and Other Animals
By James Thurber (1948)
First Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: We can all agree that the serious "important" writers of any age hold an special spot in helping us understand that age and what it was all about; but what about the more populist writers of that period, the humorists and newspaper columnists whose work was specifically designed to be both more trendy and more disposable? Take James Thurber for one great example of the complexity inherent in this question: for while it's undeniable that his work mostly consists of cute, funny little pieces, designed mostly to run in the back pages of such publications as The New Yorker in order to bring a little smile to people's faces, it's also undeniable that Thurber had a huge influence over the entire popular culture of his time, with Broadway and film adaptations of his work that starred such heavyweights as Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon and Danny Kaye (and in fact one of his biggest hits, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, was once again made into a big-budget Hollywood adaptation with Ben Stiller just last year), and it's also undeniable that his work has a dark, smart edge that helped elevate it way past the usual fluff pieces of most magazine humorists, helped immensely by his personal connection to the artists of the avant-garde because of living in Greenwich Village during the years we now call Early Modernism. Today's book being auctioned is one of the many anthologies that was put together over the years of his short work, but with one detail that sets it apart from most of the others -- this also includes the first book version of his 1947 essay series "Soapland," considered the very first pop-culture examination of soap operas in history, and an early proto-example of Postmodernism decades before the term was invented. Thurber's wickedly funny work still holds up to this day, and fans of this "society mirror-holder" will not want to miss the opportunity to pick up this important book from his career for the inexpensive price it's being offered for today.
CONDITION: Text: Very Good Plus (VG). In great shape for its 67-year age, with clean covers and a tight binding, except for a few bumped corners. Dust jacket: Missing. Contains an ink signature on the inside front cover that reads, "John E Aneck, 9/11/50, S.F." As confirmed by the McBride Guide to the Identification of First Editions, a lack of additional printing notices on the copyright page makes this a true first edition, first printing. Currently protected by a hard Mylar slipcover.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP at Market Fresh Books, Chicago, May 2015.
MINIMUM BID: US$20 / BUY THIS MOMENT FOR $30 OR BEST OFFER
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