A Study in the Imaginative Literature of 1870-1930.New York and London: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1931 Stock Code: 143829
First edition, first printing (Scribner's "A"), scarce in the jacket. Axel's Castle, which is numbered among Connolly's 100 Books of the Modern Movement, was an influential study on the roots of Modernism in the Symbolist Movement, with chapters on W. B. Yeats, Paul Valéry, T. S. Eliot, Proust, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and Rimbaud. The title relates to the symbolist masterpice Axel by Auguste Villiers de l'Isle Adam (1838-1889) - as the jacket explains: "Count Axel of Auersberg, in Villiers de l'Isle Adam's Axel, published in 1890, is a young man of 'an admirable virile beauty,' with 'a paleness almost radiant' and 'an expression mysterious from thought.' He inhabits, in an atmosphere half-Wagnerian, half-romantic-Gothic, an ancient and isolated castle in the depths of the Black Forest. It is because such a person, placed in such a setting, both conceived in the dark labyrinths of the unconscious mind, suggests the essential quality of the literature about which Mr Wilson speaks, that this conception was selected for the title." The author Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) was an important American literary critic, journalist, and editor.
Octavo. Original blue cloth, printed paper label to spine. With dust jacket.
Very minor rubbing to the tips, a few tiny marks to front cover, but a bright copy in excellent condition, with the jacket tanned and generally chipped around the edges with some loss to titles at front panel, but still good. Bookplate and occasional thoughtful marginal ink annotations.
Connolly, Modern Movement 71.
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