More than a month has passed since my last post; an inexcusable length of time in the blogosphere, so I apologize for the delay to anyone who might care. I spent six weeks fighting an unnamed (until late in the game) ailment which was eventually diagnosed as Lyme. Now Lyme had never been something I took very seriously, having grown up around dogs and horses and the ever present threat of ticks. I also know scores of people who have contracted Lyme and only exhibited minor symptoms. Not me. The symptoms were many and disabling, at least temporarily. So I now return, a bit lost as to where I should start.
First, a thank you to Jay at Anthem Book Blog for posting a link to his book blog. I'm still struggling with the html with creating a links bar on casa malaprop, and promise to reciprocate as soon as I figure it out.
I should at least offer a small bit of thanks to the internet, which allowed me to continue to do some business while laid up in bed or on the couch for so long. I managed to sell a handful of titles, including some signed firsts of Jacques Derrida (after his passing), my inscribed copy of Hans Helm's Fa : m' Ahniesgwow, an experimental music and text piece from 1959 based in part on Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. Some lesser sales rounded off a month of just barely getting by.
My first foray back into the bookselling world was a day at Sotheby's, attending the second part part of the Maury Neville sale of Modern Literature (I skipped the late afternoon session of Modern Detective Fiction - not my thing). The highlights, in terms of money, were predictably Hemingway items, including the For Whom the Bell Tolls, inscribed by H. to his wife, and a large group of letters, both fetching over $300k each including the buyer's premiums. Not surprisingly, most of the aggressively priced Kerouacs failed to sell, and some authors saw their stars dim further, notably James Jones. Friends of mine picked up some quality sleepers, including an inscribed, limited first of Del Miño al Bidasoa by Nobelist Jose Camillo Cela, and an inscribed copy of Sartre's Huis Clos, both purchased for reasonable prices.
Unfortunately, a death in my extended family is keeping me from the Boston Book Fair, which I had intended to visit, hoping to do a bit of business on the side and perhaps to find some unusual items for purchase. Oh well.