Item Details

Fantazius Mallare: A Mysterious Oath. Drawings Wallace Smith.

Chicago, IL: Covici-McGee, 1922. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Imprint 1922. "Ben Hecht (1894–1964) is a notable Hollywood screenwriter. He won the first screenplay Oscar for Underworld in 1927, wrote the great screwball comedies Nothing Sacred and His Girl Friday (based on his play with Charles MacArthur, The Front Page), and worked with directors such as Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock..Fantazius Mallare: A Mysterious Oath was first published in 1922 in a limited run intended for private distribution, most of which ended up being seized and destroyed by the authorities. The book is generally described as being a decadent work after the manner of Joris-Karl Huysmans‘ À rebours although this is a lazy comparison. A novel of decadence and mystic existentialism, Fantazius Mallare is a story of a mad recluse—a genius sculptor and painter who is at war with reason. Rather than commit suicide, his doting madness dictates that he must revolt against all evidence of life that exists outside himself. He destroys all of his work and then seeks out a woman who will devote herself to his Omnipotence. What follows is a glorious trek into a horrifying enlightening insanity."--John Coulthart...Wallace Smith provided the illustrations for the novel, which resulted in a $1,000 fine for obscenity in U.S. District Court for both Hecht and Smith for his ten fantastic, Beardleyesque drawings, several of them depicting the sterile orgies of the novel's deluded, reclusive hero. Fine in Near Fine DJ. Light shelfwear and sunning to edges, rubbing, scuffing and wear to unclipped dj, else tight, bright, and unmarred. 8vo.174pp. illus (b/w). Bound in pale blue cloth with illustrated dj in mylar. Limited edition for private circulation only, consisting of two thousand and twenty-five numbered copies. Only two thousand copies for sale. This copy is unnumbered. Lacking tissue guards. Item #12451

Price: $275.00

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