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West, Nathanael. MISS LONELYHEARTS: THE COLLECTORS' FACSIMILE EDITION. New York City, NY: New Directions Books/Collectors Reprints, Inc, 1962. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 215 pages. Fine/Fine.

Facsimile Limited Edition of the author's novel. One of the greatest novels of the 20th century. The first and only appearance of the title in this edition. Should not be confused with the regular New Directions trade edition. Published in a very small and limited print run whose number is not specified. There is no ISBN. The edition is now rare. An austerely elegant production by Collectors Reprints: Regular-sized volume format. Khaki cloth boards with titles embossed on spine, as issued. The entire production reproduces the 1933 Liveright Publishers First Edition down to the smallest detail: Its actual size, typeface, orange topstain, and pictorial DJ. The only enhancement-addition is the handsome cloth board slipcase with reproductions pasted on both sides. Presents, in a Facsimile Limited Slipcased Edition, Nathanael West's "Miss Lonelyhearts". Considering that the novel almost did not get published and immediately thereafter got caught up in the most disastrous publishing history ever to befall a masterpiece, this Limited Slipcased Edition is a long-overdue restoration for Modern First collectors. Nathan Weinstein was the ultimate paradox of a genius: He despised his Jewish roots so profoundly that he changed/"West-ernized" his name. The epithet, "self-hating Jew", applied to Nathanael West long before it became a rigid ideological term. At the same time, Weinstein-become-West mined those very same roots to create his great art. Writing in eloquent prose, Harold Bloom is one of West's most insightful critic/admirers today. But he is by no means the only one, and in a sense, is merely echoing and consolidating a consensus among critics that had been building for some time. What is admirable about "Miss Lonelyhearts" is its nihilism. It is literature as uncompromising, powerful expression. "Excels 'The Sun Also Rises', 'The Great Gatsby', and even 'Sanctuary' as the perfected instance of a negative vision in modern American fiction. West's spirit lives again in 'The Crying of Lot 49' and some sequences in 'Gravity's Rainbow', but the sublimity of 'Miss Lonelyhearts' proves to be beyond Pynchon's reach" (Harold Bloom). After sweeping aside the greatest names of modern American literature (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Thomas Pynchon is everybody), Bloom is neither done nor satisfied: "Nothing by Bellow, Malamud, Philip Roth, Mailer, or Ozick can compare to 'Miss Lonelyhearts' as an achievement". That takes care of everybody else. Considering the well-known (and enduring) friendship between Philip Roth and Harold Bloom, one wonders how the friendship became so close given Bloom's estimation of Roth, whom he otherwise deeply admires, versus West. Uncompromising critic indeed. An absolute "must-have" edition for Nathanael West collectors. This edition is now highly collectible. Every single copy of the First Edition available online is in wretched condition yet commands thousands of dollars. This is one of very few copies of the Facsimile Limited Slipcased Edition still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. As such, it is an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare copy thus. One of the greatest novelists of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. . $250.00

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