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FAULKNER, William.

Doctor Martino

and Other Stories.

New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1934 Stock Code: 130074
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Presentation copy to Malcolm Cowley

First edition, first printing, trade issue. A superb presentation copy, inscribed by the author to the literary critic Malcolm Cowley on the title page: "For Malcolm Cowley William Faulkner Sherman, Conn. 20 Oct. 1948". Malcolm Cowley (1898-1989) was responsible for almost single-handedly re-establishing the literary reputation of Faulkner through the publication in 1946 of The Portable Faulkner, including a celebrated introductory essay on the author. At the time, almost all of Faulkner's works had fallen out of print, but the publication of the book, as well as Cowley's persuasion of Random House to publish new Modern Library editions of The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, resurrected Faulkner's literary career. Consequently Faulkner's next novel, Intruder in the Dust, was received favourably, and his reputation reached such heights that Faulkner was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1949. Faulkner later said that "I owe Malcolm Cowley the kind of debt no man could ever repay" (cited in the New York Times's obituary of Cowley). The two became firm friends on both an intellectual and a personal level, and corresponded with each other for almost two decades. Some of this correspondence was published in 1967 in the Faulkner-Cowley File, here included.

This copy of Dr. Martino, Faulkner's second collection of short stories, was signed during Faulkner's visit to Cowley's Connecticut home in October 1948, where the critic was gathering material for a Life magazine profile on the novelist. Faulkner inscribed eight of his books to Cowley on the same day. All eight were later sold to the bookseller Henry Wenning, who in turn sold them to Jonathan Goodwin, perhaps the greatest American collector of modern first editions of the 20th century. Some of these copies were then sold at Goodwin's sale at Sothebys in 1977, with the present book being lot number 94. The Goodwin sale was an important event in establishing the inscribed modern first edition as a high spot of collecting. The catalogue of the sale, and a subsequent bookseller's description, are also included.

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Octavo. Original dark blue cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, top edge yellow. With the Hawkins-designed dust jacket. Housed in a custom black cloth slipcase, black morocco label.


A very good copy in the dust jacket, spine panel sunned, small mark to rear panel, small nicks around peripheries. Label of slipcase chipped.


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