Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

Book of the Month Club edition published by Little, Brown in 1951
This is a book that doesn't really need an introduction or synopsis; it also isn't predominantly weird or rare (except for the edition), and falls mostly into the category of cool. This copy of The Catcher in the Rye was published later in 1951, the same year as its initial publication, although was part of the third or fourth printing for the Little, Brown Book of the Month Club (BOMC). The main aesthetic difference between later printings and the first edition is that the first run had Salinger's photo on the back cover and he demanded that it be taken off for future editions. A secondary printing by Grosset & Dunlap around the same time had advertisements on the back cover, which he also demanded be taken off, and so all subsequent printings just had blank white on the back (which I would have scanned except it is literally just an empty white space). The cover of Salinger's only full-length novel features amazing, and now iconic, jacket design by Michael Mitchell (sometimes credited as E. Michael Mitchell) depicting a carousel horse in Central Park and part of the city. After its publication, Salinger became friends with Mitchell and corresponded for the better part of four decades. On the back flap Salinger is quoted as saying, "I've been writing since I was fifteen or so. My short stories have appeared in a number of magazines over the last ten years, mostly—and most happily—in The New Yorker. I worked on The Catcher in the Rye, on and off, for ten years." I value this copy immensely, despite the small physical imperfections on the cover, and will have to do because first printings go for many thousands of dollars.

No comments:

Post a Comment