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Shawn, Wallace. WALLACE SHAWN: ESSAYS. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books, 2009. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 165 pages. Fine/Fine.

Retrospective collection of essays. One of Wallace Shawn's finest achievements. 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 that sold out shortly after publication. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Wallace Shawn's "Essays". Written between 1991 and 2008, personally edited by him - he is very picky about his own work, and chose to include only fifteen pieces in all, extensively revised for the book - and prefaced with a brilliant new Introduction, which appears in published form for the first and only time. As a ground-breaking playwright, Shawn is a global cultural treasure: His linguistically challenging plays have somehow been translated and staged abroad. "Wallace Shawn's career as a playwright has been uncompromisingly devoted to proving, again and again, that theater is an ideal medium for exploring difficult matters of great consequence. The qualities that make his dramatic work so challenging, startling, unsettling, sensual, mind-and-soul expanding, so indispensable, are equally in evidence in the marvelous political and theatrical essays collected here. The basic faith of politically progressive people, that human beings are full of decent impulses perverted by political and economic malevolence, is held up to the liveliest, sharpest scrutiny imaginable: Not, as in so much reactionary art, to shift blame from oppressor to oppressed, not to insist that we're innately, inescapably incapable of change, but rather as a scrupulous accounting of the slippery ethics, dream logic, fear-ridden resistance to progress, and disturbing desires confronting all of our hopes for a better world. His essays are without sentiment and entirely resistant to the easy comforts of despair. Complexities are rendered delightfully plain, obfuscations are unsnarled and illuminated, clarity and rational thought are organized to plumb mysteries, and mysteries are respected and celebrated. Shawn's language, his unmistakable, original voice, felicitous, is unadorned, elegant, immediate, true. And, of course, he's very funny" (Tony Kushner). An absolute "must-have" title for Wallace Shawn collectors. This copy is very prominently, neatly, and beautifully signed in black ink-pen on the title page by Wallace Shawn. It is signed directly on the title page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a great collection. As far as we know, this is the only such signed 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: Copies available online have serious flaws, are subsequent printings, or are remainder-marked. This is surely an accessible and lovely alternative. A rare signed copy thus. One of the most brilliant writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER WALLACE SHAWN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1608460029. $100.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on August 08, 2020.