KEROUAC, Jack - MALLIOL, William.

A Sense of Dark.

New York: Atheneum, 1968 Stock Code: 144437
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Inscribed by Jack Kerouac

First edition, first printing, of this anti-war novel, inscribed on the first blank "Happy Birthday to my Brother-in-Law John, Jack Kerouac", and with a signed letter of provenance from Jeffrey Weinberg (bookseller), dated 1983, stating that this copy was given to Kerouac by the publisher's agent for a possible review.

The recipient was John Sampas, brother to Stella, Kerouac's third wife. Sampas became the executor of the Kerouac estate after Stella and Jan's deaths in the 1990s.

Rooted in the author's own Korean War experience and trauma, A Sense of Dark would have added fuel to Kerouac's own anti-war sentiments, as the Vietnam War continued into its second decade. "By Malliol's estimates he had killed more than 100 enemy soldiers in Korea and Algeria, felling dozens and dozens of them with a samurai sword in the trenches of Inchon... It was the love of a young woman and four years at Oxford University that changed William and helped him see the futility of his violence" (Blaise Zerega, "When Someone Asks You to Help Them Die", 23 June 2015).

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Octavo. Original red cloth, titles in silver to spine, black endpapers, top edge yellow. With dust jacket.


Minor bumping to spine ends, the binding otherwise sharp and vibrant, internally crisp. A fine copy in the bright jacket, small nicks and edge-splits to corners and upper front panel, two small scuff marks to spine panel, else clean, not price-clipped.


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