Large 8vo, pp. 97; one of 200 numbered copies, printed on laid paper; title printed in red and black, and opening initial in red; a few spots to endleaves, otherwise a fine copy in the original half vellum over blue paper boards, spine and front board lettered gilt, top edges gilt, other edges uncut; publisher’s original plain paper wrapper and slip-case.
US $1045 €849
First edition of Hofmannsthal’s text for Richard Strauss’s opera – Hofmannsthal himself considered it to be his finest libretto. The opera was first performed on 6 June 1928 in Dresden, five weeks before Hofmannsthal’s death. The plot is a free adaptation of Euripides’ Helena, which introduces an Egyptian princess and sorceress, Aitra, into the story of Helen of Troy and her vengeful husband Menelaeus. Aitra assuages the husband’s anger and restores conjugal harmony.
This was the first book produced by the Mainzer Presse. This small private press was founded by Friedrich Wilhelm and Christian Heinrich Kleukens in 1927, following the model of the English private presses. 65 books were produced between 1928 and 1938, each printed with types invented by Christian Kleukens.
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EXPRESSIONIST POETRY STRAMM, August.
First edition of the Expressionist poet August Stramm’s second collection of poetry. Stramm (1874-1915) is considered one of the first of the German Expressionists. He achieved little in print during his lifetime, with the exception of some Expressionist plays published by Der Sturm after his work was taken up by Herwath Walden in 1913, and some individual poems published in Walden’s periodical of the same name. Both his collections of poetry appeared posthumously after he was killed in action in Russia during World War I: the first collection, Du. Liebesgedichte, appeared shortly after his death in 1915, and was followed by Tropblut four years later. Stramm’s poetry is striking in it originality and placed him at the front of the German avant garde:
Waldwinkel. Pole Poppenspäler. Novellen …
First edition in book form. Nearly all Storm’s novellas from the mid-1860s onwards were first published in monthly and quarterly magazines before appearing in book form. Both stories included here first came out in 1874, Waldwinkel in the exclusive Deutsche Rundschau, Pole Poppenspäler in the new Leipzig monthly Deutsche Jugend.