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Home » Browse » German Language Rare Books. » (BENJAMIN, Walter.) SCHOLEM, Gerhard. - Amtliches Lehrgedicht der Philosophischen Fakulät der Haupt-und-Staats-Universitüt Muri.
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(BENJAMIN, Walter.) SCHOLEM, Gerhard.

Amtliches Lehrgedicht der Philosophischen Fakulät der Haupt-und-Staats-Universitüt Muri.

[Official Didactic Poem of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Muri.]

Published: Muri: verlag der Universität [printed at Berlin by Arthur Scholem], 1928

Stock code: 63482

Price: £1,500

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The first procurable edition, number 18 of 250 numbered copies published on 10 March 1928; the first edition was produced in only one copy (“in einem Exemplar”) on 15 July 1918. “Despite the workload that confined him to his desk, [Benjamin] made occasional forays into Berlin’s intellectual life. Scholem’s brother Erich invited him to the festive annual dinner for the Berlin circle of bibliophiles. The guests were presented with copies of a remarkable little book called Amtliches Lehrgedicht der Philosophischen Fakulät der Haupt-und-Staats-Universitüt Muri (Official Didactic Poem of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Muri), whose author was Gershom Scholem, the ‘Beadle of the Department of the Philosophy of Religion’ and whose dedicatee was ‘His Magnificence Walter Benjamin, Rector of the University of Muri.’ The two friends had completed this compendium of their jokes and academic satires while they were living in the Swiss village of Muri in 1918; Scholem’s brother now produced a private edition of 250 copies” (Eiland & Jennings, Walter Benjamin: A Critical Life, Harvard 2014, p. 306). Arthur Scholem, Gerhard’s father – a printer in Berlin – was responsible for seeing the book through the press and in terms of design he certainly pulled out the stops: choosing a type designed by Hermann Berthold and initial letters from the Trennert type foundry in Altona.

Octavo, each leaf a doubled-over sheet. Original pale brown wrappers printed in black, perfect bound with black yarn ties. Housed in a custom-made black cloth chemise in a plush-lined black cloth solander box. Decorative initials printed in dark blue. Wrappers browned, some creases and chips, dampstain to periphery of wrappers (not affecting contents) but overall a very good copy.

Bibliography: Benjamin Briefe 1955, I, 201.

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