London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1956.
1st Edition. Hardcover. Stephen Spender's Copy. First Edition, First Impression of the author's landmark First Book. 8vo., 288pp., blue boards, gilt. A near fine or better copy in dustwrapper showing just a bit of foxing but is otherwise fine. Inscribed by Wilson in green fountain pen on the ffe to Spender: "For Stephen / Whose work was one of the main influences in framing the sensibility that produced this book although it cannot be held responsible for the mis-spellings & misquotations / With Affection / Colin". An extraordinary copy of Wilson's important first book published when he was 24, & written in a library during a summer when he slept in the park. "If you get involved with people, you've got to stick to the rules. It's like going to a public school or joining a posh club. If you want the advantages, you have to stick to the rules. Well, I'd rather not join the club. I'll do without the advantages. It's like exhibiting. If you exhibit your work, you put yourself at the mercy of a lot of half-witted bastards who don't know paint from shit. But it's no good complaining about not being understood. If you put your work on show it's like asking people to look at it. And if they make stupid comments, you've got nothing to complain about, because you asked them. Well, so I don't exhibit. Then if somebody makes a stupid comment about my work I've got a right to fetch him a backhander across the mouth and say: Shut your f---ing noise; nobody asked you."
Item #21233 Price: US$6,950.00