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VAN VECHTEN, Carl.

The Blind Bow-Boy

Alfred A. Knopf, New York , 1923 Stock Code: 113480
£375.00
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Notes

First edition, trade issue, this copy with the authorial inscription, "Inscribed for ?Ethel Dill by Carl Van Vechten, October 5, 1923" on the front the endpaper. There was also a signed limited issue of 100 numbered copies. "The Blind Bow-Boy is a masterpiece of camp, written decades before the term and concept came into existence, and it sealed Van Vechten's hero status to a small but discerning group of gay, literary-minded cosmopolitan men. Van Vechten was one of the first cultural figures to draw New York's gay subculture into mainstream visibility, leading ultimately to the so-called pansy craze of the early 1930s" (Edward White, The Tastemaker: Carl van Vechten and the Birth of Modern America, 2014, pp. 155). The "blind bow-boy" of the title is Cupid, an expression used by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet (2.4.15), where Mercutio says of Romeo: "the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft".

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Description

Octavo. Original buff quarter cloth, printed paper label to spine as issued, red and green patterned sides. With the dust jacket.

Illustrations

Bookseller's ticket of Brentano's, New York, to rear pastedown. Frontispiece by Robert E. Locher, tissue-guard, title page printed in green and black.

Condition

Jacket spine very faintly toned, top edge slightly dust-darkened. A superb copy.

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