The Undersea Mountain.Denver: Alan Swallow, 1953 Stock Code: 148159
First edition, first printing, of Norse's first book of poetry, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "For Jim from Harold Paris 1961".
Harold Norse (1916-2009) was an avant-garde poet, best remembered today as a member of the Beat movement and, in Lawrence Ferlinghetti's words, "an expatriate voice in American poetry" (LA Times). He cultivated a number of literary relationships throughout his life: "in the early 1940s, Norse met Allen Ginsberg on the subway in Manhattan and became friends with James Baldwin in Greenwich Village. He also spent a summer with Tennessee Williams as the playwright put the finishing touches to The Glass Menagerie, and survived drinking sessions with Dylan Thomas in 1950" (The Guardian).
Following the publication of The Undersea Mountain, Norse moved to Rome, where he translated the poems of Guiseppe Gianchino Belli. From 1959 to 1963, he lived in the Beat Hotel in Paris with Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and William S. Burroughs, and there experimented with "cut-up" writing with Brion Gysin, later writing the cut-up novel Beat Hotel (1983); he then settled in San Francisco, where he stayed for the rest of his life.
Octavo. Original grey boards, front cover lettered in black. With dust jacket.
A near-fine copy, spine ends gently bumped, light foxing to edges, contents clean and crisp, in the lightly toned dust jacket, not price-clipped, a couple of creases to spine, front cover a touch rubbed, else sharp.
LA Times, 13 June 2009; The Guardian, 17 June 2009.
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