Monday, December 17, 2012

Doomsday Books : The Final Conflagration

The world will possibly end this week on December 21st according to various interpretations of the Mayan calendar.  I’ve seen quite a few of the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan and they are impressive.  Who is to say the Mayans might not be right? One could simply sit back, sample a few craft beers, gaze at the stars, and ride out the cosmic happenings.  As tempting as that sounds, I’m a proactive type and thought that a blog post about an aptly titled book would be more stimulating.  This forgotten gem came my way via Ebay.  The author of the work, by all accounts, carried huge promise, and the creativity surrounding the entire production hints at what might have been had his life not been cut tragically short.   As for us, let’s hope the Mayan calendar interpretation is wrong.  I sure would miss the occasional vacation to Cancun.

[Frederick B. Kaye].  Paul Arthur Amadeus Niesenwurzel. DOOMSDAY BOOKS. San  Francisco: The Grabhorn Press, 1928.  Edited by Peter Bissenschwitz.  [vii] 9 [2] p. Folio. Light green plain jacket over paper boards.  Erratum slip tipped in.  Limitation: 150 copies.  Notes: Printed by Herbert L. Rothschild for members of the Roxburghe Club.  The described binding seems to have been the standard issue. Included also in my acquisition are two other copies:  a binding variant in brown quarter cloth and marbled boards with printed paper spine label, and a copy in unbound sheets. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

C. F. Russell: The Occultist as Book Collector

Cecil F. Russell, 1897-1987

Sometimes you stumble across a book that has all the elements of biblio-intrigue: rare, relatively unknown, interesting text, and surprising author.  Such was the following I picked up on Ebay recently.