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Sontag, Susan. THE VOLCANO LOVER: A ROMANCE. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 419 pages. Fine/Fine. Signed.

The author's breakthrough third novel. One of the best American novels of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition, issued as a Kroch's & Brentano's "The First Edition Circle" selection, and distributed to private subscribers only. 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. Presents Susan Sontag's "The Volcano Lover". Her third and finest novel. The name Susan Sontag was synonymous with "intellectual par excellence". Sontag's resulting predicament as a writer was that her fiction was, with the occasional exception, seldom taken as seriously as her essays. "The Volcano Lover" changed all that. Although it is structurally a historical romance, it is primarily a novel of ideas, about modern politics, and more particularly, about collectors and the obsession called collecting. If one had to sum up Sir William Hamilton (referred to as the Cavaliere throughout the novel) in Cartesian fashion, it would be thus: "I collect, therefore I am". Sir William accumulates works of art - and just about everything else that gives him the frisson of serendipitous pleasure. He ends up "falling in love" with and collecting the Vesuvius volcano, the looming presence in the novel, a virtual "character". This erotic and apolitical relation to the world becomes, ironically, a political act with devastating consequences. Patricia Highsmith, one of the greatest modernist and thriller-genre writers of the 20th century, called "The Volcano Lover" the best book she had read by an American writer in the last decade of the 20th century. "Sontag relates to the world in order to live in it, or perhaps better still, to allow it to live itself" (Dictionary of Literary Biography). "You have to know when to let the old life go, and go on and not look back and have regrets. Otherwise you will always be sad, because you are always losing something. That's the way life is if you let misfortunes strike you too hard, you won't see the new chance coming" ("The Volcano Lover"). An absolute "must-have" title for Susan Sontag collectors. This copy of Kroch's & Brentano's "The First Edition Circle" is very prominently and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the front free endpaper by Susan Sontag. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a late-modern classic. As far as we know, this is the only copy of the Kroch's and Brentano's "The First Edition Circle"/First Hardcover Edition/First Printing available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant, the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977 for "On Photography", the National Book Award in 2000 for "In America" and the Jerusalem Prize in 2001. Shimon Peres, in awarding the Jerusalem Prize, described Sontag as "one of the world's finest writers and greatest minds". One of the most influential and important American writer-intellectuals of the 20th century. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER SUSAN SONTAG TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0374285160. $80.00

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