Not too long ago, a beautiful book came into our possession here at Bibliohead. Before considering the estimable content, the simple beauty of the book itself deserves mention. The simplicity is, I think, perfect.
As noted critic, Cleanth Brooks writes, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying “constitutes a triumph in the management of tone.” The novel chronicles the Bundrens’ arduous journey into town to bury their mother, Addie. They are committed, against convention, nature and their own personal histories, to honor her dying wish, and maybe get some new dentures at the same time. Faulkner’s novel, narrated by 15 characters, challenges the reader to accept heroic actions alongside the comic and grotesque, for a truly rewarding experience. The book’s publication in 1930 helped further establish William Faulkner as one of the great writers, and as a master, along with James Joyce and few others, of the stream-of-consciousness style that has influenced so many later writers.
This is a true first edition, first state, with the dropped letter I on page 11. This copy does have a fair amount of wear on the exterior spine hinge and crown, but otherwise the book is in nice shape. The first state of As I Lay Dying is extremely rare. Only 750 copies were printed before the presses were stopped to make the correction to the dropped letter. This book came to us without a dust jacket, but is now nicely dressed in a custom made facsimile of the original dust jacket.
This is a very special book, but if the collectible isn’t for you, we also have a perfectly good paperback reprint along with a number of Faulkner’s other books. Read the book before before the movie and Tim Blake Nelson and James Franco invade your mind’s eye.