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Borland, Polly (Photographer) & Sontag, Susan (Contributor). THE BABIES. New York City, NY: PowerHouse Books, 2001. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. Unpaginated. Fine.

Landmark collection of color photographs on subject. One of the most valuable photography books of our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. A brilliant production by Polly Borland and Martin Murray Sorrell: Oversize-volume format. Pictorial hard boards with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by Polly Borland. Essay, "Borland's Babies", by Susan Sontag. The essay, which is brilliant, appears in published form for the very first time, and has not appeared anywhere else. Edited by Mark Holborn. Printed on pristine-white, thick coated stock paper by Artegrafica in Verona, Italy to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Presents Polly Borland's "The Babies". Riveting images of male adults who are afflicted (if that is the right word) with a rare case (or fetish) of infantilism. Many of them are Australian, but there are also American, British, and French baby-wannabes. As predilections go, it is hard to think of something more puzzling, and in many ways, more deeply disturbing, than the adult wish, unacknowledged by mainstream culture (though not illegal), to revert to babyhood. The subjects are individuals whom Borland patiently followed over many years. She explores their little-understood world, artfully framing the inner lives of "adult babies" alongside their other external manifestations. These men function normally in society as truck drivers, accountants, investment bankers, businessmen, and teachers, may have suffered as children, and as such, are left obsessed with the warmth, care, and protection experienced by infants and toddlers. But then again, maybe not necessarily so, and this is just convenient psychological reductionism (just as Diane Arbus and Michel Foucault, among others, dismissed the normative understanding of the internally logical world of the insane). They dress up in (adult-sized) baby clothes, powder their bottoms, drink mother's milk from baby bottles and surrogate mothers' breasts, and play like babies. Why? According to them, to re-create a lost attachment and to get sexually aroused. Still, Polly Borland's photographs are not about arousal (for them or for us), but about an attempt to understand them, even if only as an anthropologist-photographer. As Susan Sontag points out, Borland's most notable achievement is to make her subjects a "felt presence". They pull us in and turn us into sympathizers rather than mere observers. An absolute "must-have" title for Polly Borland collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed and dated in black pen-marker on the title page by Polly Borland. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is now collectible. As far as we know, this is the only such signed and dated copy of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Borland signed very few copies through the publisher only. A rare signed copy thus. 95 color plates. One of the most brilliant photographers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER SUSAN SONTAG TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1576870839. $200.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 16, 2019.