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Manea, Norman (Translated by Various Authors). ON CLOWNS: THE DICTATOR AND THE ARTIST. New York City, NY: Grove Weidenfeld, 1992. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 178 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's breakthrough debut collection of essays on totalitarianism. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. 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 Norman Manea's "On Clowns" in a felicitous English translation. A great and moving testament of a book. Norman Manea lived in Romania under the Ceausescu conjugal dictatorship and explores in this book the realms of pain, anger, and fear that confront the creative mind in a tyranny. The subject is not original to Manea. Among the great modern texts on the subject of absolute tyranny, Hannah Arendt's "On the Origins of Totalitarianism" and Czeslaw Milosz's "The Captive Mind" remain definitive. Manea's unique contribution is his scrupulous and unsparing examination of the system's effect on art and the artist. In this respect, only the Hungarian Miklos Haraszti's "The Velvet Prison" comes to mind as being of comparable power, insight, and passion. An absolute "must-have" title for Norman Manea collectors. This title is a great book. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing (American) still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a 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 scarce copy thus. One of the greatest writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER NORMAN MANEA TITLE IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0802114156. $20.00

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