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Leiris, Michel (Translated by Richard Howard). MANHOOD: A JOURNEY FROM CHILDHOOD INTO THE FIERCE ORDER OF VIRILITY. San Francisco, CA: North Point Press, 1984. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 164 pages. Fine.

New Edition of the French classic. One of the greatest books of the 20th century. The first appearance of the title in a Softcover Edition. The translation by Richard Howard, originally written in 1964, remains definitive. Pictorial softcovers with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Text by Michel Leiris. Without DJ, as issued. A French anthropologist who was affiliated with the Surrealist Movement, Michel Leiris wrote this morbidly self-castigating memoir in the hope that he might confront and master the many deep-seated fears and obsessions that contributed to his growth into manhood. Leiris proposes an analogy between his own activity and that of a bullfighter, whose ritualistic behavior must to some extent mimic the violent or threatening forces it wishes to subdue. A writer like Hemingway or Norman Mailer attempts to regain some sense of virility or manhood, all the more betraying an underlying fear of women. Leiris indulges the fear instead. His early experiences are organized around the symbolic figures of Lucrece and Judith, two female figures from ancient myth, who represent violent feminine sexuality in the male imagination. As Leiris connects these figures with his own childhood fears and fantasies and recounts his various humiliations with unflinching honesty and graphic detail, we are rewarded with an autobiography that is unique in world literature. An unusual autobiography and a masterpiece, this is a "must-have" title for Michel Leiris collectors. This title remains available in multiple subsequent printings and is now collectible. This copy of the First Softcover Edition is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A scarce copy thus. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MICHEL LEIRIS TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0865471738. $20.00

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