Sunday, June 21, 2009

Objet du desir...

Well, if you have a few hundred pounds and you have enjoyed Front Free Endpaper so much that you want to give something back then feel free to hunt down a copy of this little wonder for me. Seven years I have coveted this. To say that Samuel Delany's autobiographical book The Motion of Light on Water: sex and Science Fiction Writing in the East Village 1957-1965 is one of my favourite books seems almost to trivialise the way I feel about it. This is one of those books which is capable of producing a profound, almost soul cracking effect on the right reader. I'm not alone in thinking it's a book of great merit, it won the 1989 Hugo award for non-fiction related to Science Fiction. It is the story of Delany's relationship with the poet Marilyn Hacker, their alternative lifestyle, cruising, his many many sexual trysts with men, the writing of his early sci-fi novels, art installations and poetry, with cameo appearances by Auden and Isherwood... it is one of those uncategorizable books which affects because it has a searing honesty that is only heightened by the fact that it is autobiography.

I've known for a long time about the limited edition version of the book published by Ultramarine. Forty numbered copies were bound in half lilac calf and then ten lettered copies were bound, by Denis Gouey, in full lilac calf with gold thread design. It sounds like the kind of thing that just shouldn't be allowed but it's actually a thing of beauty. What a perfect interpretation of the title. This copy is currently on sale for £350.


denis said...

I bound that copy and all the others as well, thank you for the compliments, means a lot to me.

Callum said...

Hi Denis,

I don't know if you will come back here to see this but in the absence of any other way of contacting you let me just say how delighted I am that you found your way here. I really wasn't kidding about the brilliance of this binding... one day I'll get me a copy I'm sure!

Glad you dropped by...


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